India take on New Zealand in the first of a three-match ODI series at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai on Sunday, October 22.
The "Men in Blue" will head into the contest with a lot of confidence after having crushed world champions Australia 4-1 in the recently-concluded ODI series, before which they outplayed Sri Lanka and West Indies away from home. | Live updates |
Also, New Zealand were beaten 3-2 when they toured India last year. Kane Williamson's men fought hard and forced a decider, in which they were bundled out for a meager 79 in chase of 270 against Kohli's men.
The gap between the two series might just be one year, but Team India have undergone a lot of changes during the period and also have gone on to clinch dominating wins across the globe.
Hardik Pandya just scored 45 runs in four matches against New Zealand last year, but the big-hitting all-rounder now has the reputation of hitting sixes at will. India's fast-bowling duo of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah has been excellent with both the new ball and at the death. Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have replaced big names R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. Captain Virat Kohli also seems to love his wrist-spin duo so much that he is not shying away from having both of them in the playing XI.
Kohli, who will be playing his 200th ODI on Sunday, seems to be in a good frame of mind, with most of his players coming good in their respective roles. The captain will be looking to lead from the front in his landmark match as a good start against the dangerous New Zealand in a short series is important.
With the number four position in the batting-order remaining their only concern, India will look to address it in the upcoming series. Karnataka batsman Manish Pandey and Tamil Nadu veteran Dinesh Karthik, both of whom were prefered over KL Rahul, will battle for the crucial spot in India's batting order.
On the other hand, New Zealand will bank on their pace bowler Tim Southee and Trent Boult to do the trick against the hosts. Notably, the premier fast-bowling duo troubled the Indian batsmen in 2016. Meanwhile, captain Williamson will bank on left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner along with leg-spinner Ish Sodhi to provide control in the middle overs.
Tom Latham, who top-scored for New Zealand at the opener's slot, will play at No. 5 in the upcoming series. The left-hander impressed at his new batting position by smashing a ton and a fifty in the two warm-up games against Board President's XI. The visitors' chances will also depend on how explosive openers Martin Guptill and Colin Munro perform at the top of the order against the effective new-ball duo of Bumrah and Kumar.
With a humid day expected at the Wankhede, teams winning the toss will look to bat first and put pressure on the opposition bowlers. Traditionally the track, apart from being batsmen friendly, offers assistance to both spin and pace bowlers.
When does the match start and how to watch it live
The first ODI between India and New Zealand will start in Mumbai at 1:30pm IST, 8am GMT
Live streaming and TV coverage
India: TV: Star Sports. Live Streaming: Hotstar.
New Zealand: Sky Sport 1. Live streaming: Sky GO
UK: TV: Sky Sports Cricket. Live Streaming: Watch Sky Sports.
USA: TV: Willow TV. Live Streaming: Willow TV Online.
India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik (wicketkeeper), MS Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur.
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (captain), Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham (wicketkeeper), Henry Nicholls, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, George Worker, Ish Sodhi.