New Zealand captain Tom Latham attends a practice session at the Rajiv Gandhi International Cricket Stadium in Hyderabad on January 16, 2023, ahead of their first one-day international (ODI) cricket match against India. | Photo Credit: Nagara Gopal
‘King’ Kohli will be the beholder of all eyes as Rohit Sharma-led India take on New Zealand, fresh from its first ODI series win over Pakistan, in the first of the three-match Masters series Card ODI at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium here on Wednesday.
With Kohli well and truly announcing his grand return to the century-scoring spree with two tons against the Sri Lankans in the just-concluded ODI series, the Kiwis should find it really hard to keep him down for sure.
Captain Rohit Sharma, who must have been desperate for a three-figure knock as he failed despite a brilliant start, and his partner, Shubman Gill, who seemed comfortable in the gap with his second ODI ton on Sunday against Sri Lanka, the home team can hope for a perfect start to set the stage for the likes of Kohli, wicketkeeper-batter Ishan Kishan who is set to play in the middle-order according to Rohit Sharma.
Shreyas Iyer was ruled out due to a back injury. It will be interesting to see whether Suryakumar Yadav finds a place in the eleven or not. In bowling, pacer Mohammed Siraj dreams of running with the ball and will be playing his first international at home. He should be a big challenge for the Kiwis, bowling alongside the more experienced Mohammed Shami.
The home team management has several bowling options depending on whether the spin or pace attack should be boosted.
On the other hand, the New Zealanders will certainly miss the experience and class of Kane Williamson in batting and Tim Southee in bowling – both rested as part of workload management for the World Cup later this year.
Clearly, top-order batters Finn Allen, Devon Conway, Darryl Mitchell, and captain Tom Latham (who was reduced in command in Pakistan), Michael Bracewell had his work cut out with the bat for sure. The explosive Glen Phillips whose brilliant attack helped the team clinch the decider against Pakistan should also enjoy the conditions here as the pitch is expected to live up to the reputation of a genuine ODI wicket.
In bowling, Lockie Ferguson and left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner should be the main performers and need to be at their best to check the free-stroking Indian batting line-up.
India: Rohit Sharma (captain), Hardik Pandya (vice-capt), Srikar Bharat, Yuzevendra Chahal, Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Shahbaz Ahmed, Shubman Gill, Shardul Thakur, Umran Malik, Washington Sundar and Suryakumar Yadav.
New Zealand: Tom Latham (captain), Finn Allen, Doug Bracewell, Michael Bracewell, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway, Jacob Duffy, Lockie Ferguson, Daryl Mitchell, Henry Nicholls, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Henry Shipley, Ish Sodhi and Blair Tickner.
Umpires: Nitin Menon and Anil Chaudhary.
stadium: Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium
India vs. New Zealand, 1st ODI starts at 1:30 pm.