After being handed a drubbing by New Zealand in the fourth ODI, India prepares to make a comeback with a better performance in the fifth ODI in Wellington on February 3.
India's team massively capitulated in the fourth ODI and were bowled out by New Zealand for 92 following an inspired spell of fast bowling by Trent Boult.
In the absence of skipper Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma led the side and the management decided to give young Shubman Gill his international debut. It will be harsh on their part to drop him after just the one game but that might well be the outcome as MS Dhoni is expected to return to the playing XI after missing the last two games due to a sore hamstring.
But the management may also decide to drop either Ambati Rayudu or Dinesh Karthik to give the 19-year-old another match. Both Rayudu and Karthik departed without troubling the scorers on Thursday, frittering a golden opportunity to cement their place in India's World Cup squad.
Although Kedar Jadhav also did not perform well in the last game, he is expected to keep his place in the XI because he adds value with the ball. Hardik Pandya is expected to continue as the all-rounder and Khaleel Ahmed will also keep his place in the side as the management has decided to give Mohammed Shami a break following a gruelling and successful summer.
For New Zealand, they made a few changes and is likely to stick with Henry Nicholls at the top of the order. Skipper Kane Williamson has not been in form and is due a big innings. In the bowling department, the windy conditions may force them to field Tim Southee on Sunday. He may come in at the expense of Matt Henry.
James Neesham also made a return to the playing XI in the fourth ODI and it will interesting to see how he fares following a successful series against Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, opener Martin Guptill will miss the game due to a back injury and the Kiwis have recalled Colin Munro to the squad.
New Zealand: Colin Munro, Henry Nicholls, Kane Williamson (C), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Colin de Grandhomme, Todd Astle, Tim Southee, Trent Boult
India: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (WK), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Khaleel Ahmed, Yuzvendra Chahal
Pitch and conditions
The pitch at Westpac Stadium will have a drop-in pitch on Sunday. The two teams possess plenty of stroke makers who will enjoy the true bounce of the surface and can hit through the line. But the pitch may slow down so the captain winning the toss will want to bat first. The Indian spinners will enjoy bowling here if their batsmen can set up a good total.
The weather is expected to be sunny 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.