India would have loved to have been in a position where they could have given the players who have sat out for most of the series an opportunity to show their worth in the 5th and final ODI match against New Zealand. However, after another bungling of the chase, MS Dhoni's men find themselves in a must-win position.
As a result, it is unlikely that Dhoni will make too many changes to the playing XI, which means Jayant Yadav and Mandeep Singh are likely to end the series without playing a single game. It is a pity too, because it would have been interesting to see how they handled the quality New Zealand team, especially Jayant, who could come into the reckoning in the England Test matches.
Dhawal Kulkarni got a game in the last match owing to Jasprit Bumrah's fitness issues, and the Mumbai medium-pacer is likely to get another game only if the latter is declared unfit again.
Bumrah looked fine enough in practice on Friday and considering how expensive Kulkarni was in his only match – he went for 59 runs in just seven overs – India's premier death overs bowler should walk right back in.
The rest of the team should be the same, with pressure on Rohit Sharma to score some quality runs for the first time in this series, while the likes of Manish Pandey and Kedar Jadhav will also be expected to contribute more with the bat. Both the batsmen disappointed in the fourth one-day international, playing poor shots when a bit of calm would have got India home.
Plenty of changes were afoot in the New Zealand camp in the last match, with Kane Williamson bringing in Ish Sodhi, Anton Devcich and BJ Watling. Matt Henry, unlucky to be left out, Corey Anderson and Luke Ronchi, who have struggled with the bat in this series, were the ones left out, and it remains to be seen what decisions New Zealand make for this match, especially considering there is a bit of rain forecast for Saturday.
If they feel the wicket will aid the slower bowlers, they are likely to stick to the same lineup, but if it is a better-paced pitch, Henry might come back in for Sodhi – the curator's message was that the pitch, devoid of grass, will have decent bounce and will be tailor-made for the batsmen, pointing to the fact that we could have our first 300+ score in this series.
Devcich, even though he did not impress much with bat or ball, is expected to play so that Williamson has an extra bowling option, while Watling deserves another chance behind the stumps, even if New Zealand's power hitting options seriously diminish with both Anderson and Ronchi sitting out.
Confirmed playing XI: India: Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni (C), Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Axar Patel, Jayant Yadav, Amit Mishra, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah.
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson (C), Ross Taylor, Corey Anderson, BJ Watling, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult.