India retained the same 14-man squad for the remaining two one-day internationals of the series against New Zealand and the question is will the home side stick with the same 11 players for a fourth straight game. India play New Zealand in Ranchi on Wednesday with the hosts leading the series 2-1.
So far, MS Dhoni has decided to go with the exact same playing XI for the first three matches, which has meant that Jayant Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni and Mandeep Singh have watched from the bench. With Suresh Raina missing the first three games through illness and then not being picked, as he continues his recovery, for the final two matches as well, these three remain the players yet to taste some action.
Dhoni is someone who does not like to tinker with the team, especially right after a win, but the whole point of playing these one-day matches is to see who can stand up to the international test and if they can be options for the Champions Trophy next year.
The only way to find that out for sure is by giving them an opportunity to perform. Mandeep might find it difficult to get into the side, considering the opening slot is taken up by two senior players in Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane, with both extremely disappointing in this series so far.
Rahane really needs to show his one-day batting chops, otherwise he will be one of those players consigned to the bench when Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul return from injury.
Jayant Yadav could come in for one of the spinners – Amit Mishra or Axar Patel. Mishra has been excellent with the ball, so if Dhoni feels the need for an off-spinner – he might think a specialist could be really effective, considering how big an impact Kedar Jadhav had had with his part-time off-spin – Jayant could come in for Axar, who has not quite done enough with either bat or ball. The Ranchi pitch looked dry with very little grass on the surface, so the pitch might help the spinners and Axar is not someone who turns to ball too much.
Dhawal Kulkarni has a case to come in for Umesh Yadav, who looked out of sorts in the last one-day match, while he could also use a rest considering he featured in the Test matches as well.
New Zealand look like keeping much of the same side for the fourth ODI, even if there is a call to be made over Luke Ronchi and if he could do with a rest. Ronchi has not looked like his usual batting self in this series and considering how impressive BJ Watling was in the Test matches, it might not be that bad an idea to swap wicketkeepers for this game.
Jimmy Neesham rescued New Zealand with the bat in the last ODI, so the all-rounder should keep his place, after coming in for Anton Devcich. There is a case for Devcich to play ahead of Corey Anderson, though, considering the latter has looked out of sorts and the former will provide an extra bowling option.
Confirmed playing XI: India: Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni (C), Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Amit Mishra, Umesh Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni.
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson (C), Ross Taylor, BJ Watling, Anton Devcich, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult.