The Indian team management including captain Virat Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri will be having selection headaches for the next ODI series against New Zealand starting 22 October.

Shikhar Dhawan, who has replaced Ajinkya Rahane for the upcoming T20 series against Australia which starts on Saturday, is expected to feature in the ODI series against New Zealand. It means India will have three players for the opening slot — Rahane, Shikhar and Rohit Sharma.

Though Rohit-Rahane put up a splendid performance against Australia while the left-hander was relieved from the team to attend his ailing wife, Rohit-Shikhar has always been favoured for their success in the past.

The same may happen once again against New Zealand, and former India captain Sunil Gavaskar believes there is a way to accommodate Rahane even if he is not picked as an opener. He feels if the need arises Kohli should bat at number four and allow Rahane in his number three position.

Virat Kohli, India cricket
Virat Kohli.Reuters

"Probably, it will be Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma as openers for India, a good right and left hand combination. Shikhar has proven himself at the one-day level," Gavaskar told NDTV.

"My feeling is, because India have struggled for a number four batsman that it will probably be Ajinkya Rahane going in at number four or may be three, and the skipper coming down at number 4. That is what is going to be the likely batting order against New Zealand."

The team management will not want to drop Rahane from the playing XI in the ODI format as it might be a tad unfair, after scoring four half-centuries on a trot against Australia.

With India having tried different batsmen at number four, in-form Rahane can slot in the middle order. It also remains to be seen if Kohli would want to move down the order and bat at number four to accommodate Rahane at the top.