India have a lot of improvements to make after their defeat to New Zealand in the second one-day international, and if those improvements will come through changes in the playing XI remains to be seen. The third ODI takes place in Mohali on Sunday and the pressure is on the hosts to put up a better effort.
MS Dhoni was pretty disappointed with his batsmen after they failed to chase down a score of 242, but with Suresh Raina still not travelling with the India squad and only Mandeep Singh the other batting option, it looks like the home team will go with the same playing XI for this third match as well.
That means the batsmen who haven't stepped up enough so far – Rohit Sharma, who is expected to be fine after injuring his left arm in the second ODI, Ajinkya Rahane, Manish Pandey and even Dhoni – must make their present felt with the bat.
Dhawal Kulkarni, Jayant Yadav and Mandeep are the three players, not counting Raina, yet to get a game in this series so far, and considering the balance of the side and what India require at the moment, they are likely to sit out another match. Unless, Dhoni feels one of Umesh Yadav or Jasprit Bumrah needs a rest, with Kulkarni then coming in. Jayant also has a slight chance, in case the skipper feels the need for an off-spinner, considering both Amit Mishra and Axar Patel spin the ball in the same direction.
New Zealand are also set to go with a similar playing XI for this match and the only change, if any at all, looks like being Anton Devcich for Jimmy Neesham. Devcich seemed to struggle with cramps throughout the match in Delhi and his left-arm spin wasn't too effective either.
With the Mohali track usually much friendlier, than most other Indian pitches, for the pacers – this wicket will not be a fresh one, so it is likely to play nice and true and there was a fair bit of grass on the day before of the match – it would make sense for Neesham to come back in. Trent Boult, in particular, and Matt Henry were impressive after returning to the playing XI and they are set to stay in the team for this match.
Confirmed playing XI: India: Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni (C), Kedar Jadhav, Axar Patel, Hardik Pandya, 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, Tim Southee, Matt Henry, Trent Boult.