The Big Picture
It is said that a great team shrugs of the blip with disdain when they encounter the same threat again. Sunday's match will offer a chance to the Men in Blue to not only do the same but also prove that this side is not overreliant on one man- Virat Kohli.
It is rare that India plays an ODI without the services of both Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni as they did in Wellington the other day. It is also rare that they capitulate in such insipid manner despite the absence of their talisman, which puts the focus back on their fledgling middle-order. It is true that India is not the same side if their top-3 [top-2 in case of Wellington] do not fire, and with a middle-order sans MS Dhoni, things look even more ominous against the incisive pace and swing of Trent Boult.
While Dhoni will be back for the last ODI, the absence of Kohli gives the likes of Rayudu, Shubman Gill, who had a forgettable debut game, another chance to stake their claim to the No.4 spot.
Rohit Sharma said in the post-match presser that it was one of India's worst batting performance in a long time and while it is true that the inability of the batters to counter seam and swing, credit should not be taken away from Trent Boult.
Boult- 5-21- bowled a ten-over spell of sustained seam and swing, and along with Colin de Grandhomme displayed how dangerous a team New Zealand are once the ball starts to nip around. The batting also looked in the last game with Ross Taylor and Henry Nicolls showing a glimpse as to how to tackle India's wrist-spin with Yuzvendra Chahal going for 32 off his 16 balls. The focus will be on Kane Williamson too. The Kiwi skipper has had a quiet series thus far and against an Indian attack sans Bumrah and possibly Shami, it offers him the best chance to showcase his enterprising batting. Coin Munro will also look to cap off the series on a high in Martin Guptill's absence, who is set to miss out the last ODI due to a bad back.
Venue:- Westpac Park, Hamilton
Match Timing:- Sunday, February 02, 2019, 07:30 AM IST
What to expect?
Like the Seddon Park, another trial by seam and swing awaits the Indian batsman. New Zealand has an average total of 207 at this ground over the last three years.
Form Guide [Most recent first]
New Zealand- WLLLW
- If India wins the last ODI, this will be the first time an Indian side registers four wins against New Zealand [in New Zealand] in a 5-match series.
- India has played three matches at the Westpac stadium, and have a 1-1 record with one match ending in a washout.
- If Ross Taylor scores 110 runs in the last game, he will become the second Kiwi batsman to score 8,000 ODI runs after Stephen Fleming.
Team News & Playing 11
New Zealand will miss the services of Martin Guptill after the opener injured his back during the training session, which means Colin Munro could get another chance after missing the last game.
Probable 11- Colin Munro, Henry Nicholls, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Colin de Grandhomme, James Neesham, Doug Bracewell/Mitchell Santner, Todd Astle, Matt Henry, Trent Boult
India will welcome back MS Dhoni in the side after the former captain missed the last two matches due to a hamstring niggle, which means there could be a direct swap between him and Karthik. Bowling coach Bharat Arun indicated of giving the reserve-players game time which means Khaleel Ahmed could retain his place in the playing 11.
Probable 11:- Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Shubman Gill, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Khaleel Ahmed