After clinching the five-match series in three matches, India prepares to take on New Zealand in the fourth ODI on January 31 in Hamilton.
India is enjoying a purple patch and it should come as no surprise to anyone who has been following Indian cricket. The management has fostered an extremely competitive team atmosphere and at the same time ensured the players enjoy each other's success.
This was evidently pointed out by captain Virat Kohli after the third ODI which was also his last match of the tour. Kohli's return home after a hectic three-month vigil in the Australian continent will open up a place in the playing XI. This will give one of the fringe players a continued run of games to establish his place in the World Cup squad.
In Kohli's absence, Ambati Rayudu is expected to move up to the number 3 slot. Rayudu had a forgettable series in Australia but has shown signs of returning to form in the last couple matches in Mount Maunganui.
MS Dhoni missed the third ODI due to a sore hamstring and if the team management decides to give the former captain an extended break in order to fully recover, young Shubman Gill will make his international debut. Before leaving for India, captain Kohli had some special words for Gill, "Shubman is a very exciting talent and I saw him bat in the nets and I was like wow I was not even ten per cent of that when I was 19."
In case Dhoni is fit, he is expected to come in at number 4, followed by Kedar Jadhav and Dinesh Karthik.
In the bowling department, India may decide to Mohammed Shami after excellent performances throughout the Australia series and the first three ODIs in New Zealand. In his place, Khaleel Ahmed could get a look in.
For New Zealand, nothing has gone according to plan as the batsmen have constantly failed. In the third ODI, despite some resistance from Ross Taylor and Tom Latham, the Kiwis failed to go beyond mere respectability while setting a first innings total.
It remains to be seen if the hosts make any changes to the squad for the final two ODIs. If they decide to remain unchanged, there are no alternatives for them to go back on.
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (C), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Mitchell Santner, Doug Bracewell, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult, Ish Sodhi
India: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik (WK), Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Khaleel Ahmed, Yuzvendra Chahal
Pitch and conditions
The pitch at Seddon Park is a batting paradise and is expected to be no different on Wednesday. The two teams possess plenty of stroke makers who will enjoy the true bounce of the surface and can hit through the line. There will be turn on offer and this will not sound good to the Kiwi batsmen.
The weather is expected to be cloudy with temperatures ranging in the mid 20 degree Celsius. Although no rain is forecast, a gentle breeze is expected. This will certainly make the Indians feel relieved following the difficult weather conditions in Australia.