India vs New Zealand: India’s predicted XI for 3rd ODI - Kohli & Co set to tinker with middle order
No team is perfect and minor tweaking could be done by the team management for this clash at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui on Monday.Updated: Jan 27, 2019 12:36 IST
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
After convincing wins in the first and second ODI respectively, India will look to take an unassailable lead in the five-match series when they take on New Zealand in the third ODI at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui on Monday.
There is an old adage which says don’t tinker things that aren’t broken and same can be said about the in-form Indian team. The batsmen and bowlers are firing on all cylinders and therefore they should not chop and change around much.
Having said that, no team is perfect and minor tweaking could be done by the team management for this clash and we try to predict the side which could take the field at the picturesque stadium in Mount Maunganui.
After a poor start to the series, vice-captain Rohit Sharma roared back to life by hitting a blistering half-century (87) to power India to a mammoth total. In the process, Rohit improved his record in New Zealand and with momentum on his side now, he will look for another big innings against the out-of-sorts Kiwi bowling attack.
Opener Shikhar Dhawan has been in sensational form in New Zealand having scored a half-centuries (75* & 66) in first two games of the series. Dhawan had a very average outing in the ODI series in Australia but he seems to have struck form in New Zealand and will look to extend that streak in the third match.
This will be the last match before Virat Kohli heads back to home after being rested for the last two ODIs and T20I series. Kohli will look to finish off on a high after couple of 40 scores in the series. He has had starts is both the games thus far but will look to go past the three-figure mark in his last match of the tour.
Middle-order batsman Ambati Rayudu finally got some runs under his belt as he struck 47 in the second ODI. Rayudu enjoys the backing of the team management at the number four slot but needs a big innings sooner than later to keep hold of his place as the competition keeps on increasing with every passing day.
Wicket-keeper-batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni is going through a rich vein of form as after scoring three back to back fifties in Australia, he scored an unbeaten 48 in his first innings in New Zealand. Behind the stumps, he remains as sharp as ever as he showed by effecting a brilliant stumping of Ross Taylor in the second ODI.
All-rounder Hardik Pandya is up for selection and is expected to return into the side after BCCI CoA provisionally lifted his suspension. He is likely to replace Vijay Shankar in the playing XI. One should spare a thought for Shankar as he didn’t get a chance to show his talent with the bat and could only bowl a combined total of 6 overs in the two matches.
All-rounder Kedar Jadhav once again showed his importance to the side in the previous game. He scored quick runs at the end of the Indian innings to help the team go over the 300-run mark at the Bay Oval. With the ball, he scalped one wicket and gave away just 35 runs in 6 overs.
Fast-bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar has bowled well in the series and while he was economical in the first match (0/20), he was among the wickets in the second (2/42). Bhuvneshwar is very handy with the bat as well and that tips the scale in his favour.
Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav is the leading wicket-taker in the series and that too by some distance. He has scalped four wickets in both the matches so far and has played pivotal roles in India’s big wins in New Zealand. Kuldeep will look to keep the momentum going in the third ODI as the Kiwis have found it hard to deal with his spin bowling.
Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has also done exceptionally well as he has been among the wickets. Chahal’s ability to pick wickets in the middle overs has helped India keep a check on the Kiwi run-rate and they will hope for more of the same from their star spinner in the next clash.
Fast-bowler has been a revelation for India in the absence of rested Jasprit Bumrah and has given the team ideal starts by picking up wickets with the new ball. In two matches he has picked up four wickets and was also named the man of the match for his exploits in the opening match of the series (3/19).
First Published: Jan 27, 2019 12:23 IST