After defeating Australia in their backyard, India prepares to take on New Zealand at Napier on January 23 in the first of five ODIs.
Unlike the series against Australia, both teams head into this match with winning momentum and confidence.
India will be especially buoyed by MS Dhoni's return to form at a crucial juncture ahead of the World Cup and it will be interesting to see if the former captain continues to bat at number 4. Skipper Virat Kohli mentioned after the third ODI in Melbourne that he sees Dhoni at number 5 but that is unlikely to happen in the first ODI at Napier.
Ambati Rayudu will thus miss out on the first match as Dinesh Karthik and Kedar Jadhav are ahead of the 33-year-old in the pecking order at the moment. While the former seems to be India's designated finisher, Jadhav played extremely well in Melbourne and also adds crucial overs with the ball in the middle overs.
In the bowling department, it will be interesting to see if India persists with the all-round abilities of Ravindra Jadeja or goes in with two wrist spinners. In case, India fields only one of their two leg-spinners, either Kuldeep Yadav or Yuzvendra Chahal will miss out.
For New Zealand, Mithcell Santner has been recalled into the squad given India's struggles against left-arm spinners. Shikhar Dhawan has fallen quite a few times to Santner and Dhoni has historically found it difficult to score off left-arm slow bowlers. It will be a tossup between Santner and Doug Bracewell for the all-rounder's slot.
The hosts have a good headache in terms of their fast bowling choices and have been rotating among Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson and Matt Henry. Once again, one of them will miss out.
In the batting department, Tom Latham is expected to slot in at number 5 and given his good record against spin, will be crucial in guiding the Kiwi ship in the middle overs.
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (C), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Lockie Ferguson, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Ish Sodhi
India: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni (WK), Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Vijay Shankar, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal
Pitch and conditions
A drop-in pitch will be used at McLean Park for the first ODI and expect the surface to stay true throughout the match. A small ground coupled with the true bounce and carry in the pitch will result in scores well in excess of 300. Both teams have plenty of attacking batsmen to gift a high-scoring close encounter.
The weather is expected to be bright and sunny with temperatures ranging in the mid 20 degree Celsius. A gentle breeze is also expected and the Indians will certainly feel relieved following the difficult weather conditions in Australia.