With Suresh Raina out of the first one-day international against New Zealand, one of Kedar Jadhav or Mandeep Singh will get an opportunity to show their worth as India look to make a strong start in the ODI series with victory in Dharamsala.
Coming off a comprehensive Test series win, India will want to carry their good form into the ODIs as well, and with MS Dhoni back at the helm, there will be plenty of attention given to this match. India do not play too many one-day matches before the Champions Trophy comes calling next year, so trying out all the options and see how they stand up against big opposition like New Zealand will be crucial.
Raina has been ruled out of the opening match due to a viral fever, which opens up a place, at least for this match, for either Jadhav or Mandeep. Considering Mandeep has probably been selected as the opening backup for Ajinkya Rahane and Rohit Sharma, it seems logical for Jadhav to get to bat in the middle order.
Going by the net session on Saturday, that does seem to be the case, and while Jadhav has done well against weaker opposition, this will be the 31-year-old's opportunity to show he has what it takes to score runs against strong teams like New Zealand.
MS Dhoni, in his pre-match press conference, said he will bat up the order in this series, with the captain likely to come in at No.5. Rahane, Rohit, Virat Kohli and Manish Pandey should be the top four, and with Jadhav to come in at No.6, followed by the all-rounders Hardik Pandya, who should make his ODI debut, and Axar Patel, India's batting strength looks decent.
Amit Mishra looks like getting the nod to be the second spinner, ahead of Jayant Yadav, while Jasprit Bumrah will be joined by either Dhawal Kulkarni or Umesh Yadav in the pace department.
New Zealand have two spinners in the squad in Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner and both should play, while Matt Henry will hope his performances in the Test series will get him the nod ahead of Tim Southee, if the Kiwis do go in with the two spinners.
Tom Latham was the Black Caps' best batsman in the Test series, so that should see him get in ahead of Anton Devcich, unless he slots in in the middle, ahead of Corey Anderson, who will not bowl in this series.
Confirmed playing XI: India: Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni (C), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Amit Mishra, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah.
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson (C), Ross Taylor, Corey Anderson, Luke Ronchi, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Doug Bracewell, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi.