India have played some good cricket in the ongoing ODI series against New Zealand, and they currently lead the series 2-1. If the Men in Blue manage to script a win in the fourth ODI in Ranchi, they can wrap up the series with a game to spare. However, it is not going to be easy with New Zealand having shown some fighting spirit in the series already.
There are quality bowlers and batsmen in both the camps, which means there are going to be some close contest between the bat and ball in the fourth ODI. Here is a look at some of the key clashes that could determine the fate of the Ranchi ODI.
Rohit Sharma vs Trent Boult
The Mumbai batsman has been a consistent player at the top of the order for India, but his form in the ongoing series has been below par. He has scored 14, 15 and 13 runs in the series so far, and will be hell bent on playing a big knock, But the batsman has to deal with New Zealand's quickie Boult, who will be keen to provide early breakthrough. Boult, with his pace, irrespective of the conditions will be one to watch out for as his pace can trouble any batsmen in world cricket.
Virat Kohli vs Mitchell Santner
Kohli showed why he is one of the most respected cricketers in world today as he played a match-winning knock in the third ODI, scoring 154 runs. The New Zealand team are aware of Kohli being a prized scalp, and will go all out to get his wicket. With the wicket in Ranchi being a bit dry, it could assist the spinners, and the visitors will hope for a magical spell of bowling from the slow-left arm to dismiss Kohli. If NZ dismiss Kohli for cheap runs, the Black Caps might have a good chance of levelling the series.
Umesh Yadav Vs Martin Guptill
New Zealand have not been able to put a massive score on the board to cause panic, one of the reasons being Guptill's failure. The right-hander showed some glimpses of his big batting in the last ODI, where he scored 27 runs, but failed to carry on. New Zealand will need the batsman to provide a solid start, so that their strong order can take advantage of it. On the other hand, Umesh Yadav, who has dismissed Guptill in the last two ODIs, will hope to scalp his wicket once again and put New Zealand in trouble. Though the pitch might assist the spinners more, Yadav is experienced enough to use the new ball to his advantage.
Amit Mishra vs Kane Williamson
The leggie has been brilliant, taking wickets at regular intervals. He has been the pick of the bowlers for India as he has already taken eight wickets. New Zealand batsmen might not be great players of the turning ball, but Williamson is a standout as he can milk spinners, and hit them for boundaries. Hence, this contest between Williamson, who is New Zealand's best player, and Mishra will be worth watching.