Rohit Sharma Virat Kohli India
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli will be key players for India in this first one-day international match against New ZealandReuters

It is now over to the "not that much of a battle between bat and ball" fun and games of the limited-overs, with India and New Zealand recommencing their combat with the first ODI in Dharamsala on Sunday. India won the Test series comprehensively and will go into the ODIs as the favourites.

While changes are expected from both teams – not as much from New Zealand, considering 12 of their Test team members are also a part of the ODI squad – what will be interesting to see is how India start this series off and how affected the Kiwis will be by the 3-0 series loss in the Test matches.

Dharamsala usually produces a wicket that has a bit of pace and comes on nicely to the bat, and so, this could end up suiting the batsmen of both teams. How well the bowlers do will decide the outcome of this match, with India hamstrung by the fact that they will be without their two best spinners and premier fast bowler – R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami – who have been rested for the first three matches.

MS Dhoni is someone who likes to have options in his bowling and that has also taken a hit for this first ODI owing to Suresh Raina being ruled out of the match with viral fever. That means Dhoni will have to rely on his specialist bowlers and Hardik Pandya, who has failed to impress in the recent past.

If Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane and Virat Kohli find their mojo with the bat, though, it might not matter how well the bowlers do, because in Kohli and Rohit, in particular, India have two ridiculously-gifted match-winners.

New Zealand have their own in Kane Williamson and Martin Guptill, while the Black Caps will also bank on their fast bowlers Trent Boult and Tim Southee to deliver, especially if there is something in it for the pacers with the new ball.

The key for New Zealand will be to move on from the draining and morale-sapping Test series loss; if they do that, this series will be a lot more competitive than the Tests.

India vs New Zealand 1st ODI schedule:

Date: Sunday, October 16.

Time: 1.30pm IST, 9pm NZT, 9am BST, 4am ET.

Venue: HPCA Stadium, Dharamsala.

TV listings:

India: Star Sports 1, Star Sports HD1, Star Sports 3 and Star Sports HD3.

New Zealand: Sky Sport 3.

Middle East: OSN Sports Cricket.

UK: Sky Sports 5.

USA and Canada: Willow TV.

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