Napier, Jan 19 (): After an unsatisfactory tour to South Africa, where Indian men lost the ODI series 2-0, the team lead by Mahendra Singh Dhoni will face New Zealand in the first One-Day International (ODI) at Napier on January 19, Sunday.
India vs New Zealand 2014 1st ODI Preview
Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma will be the main men at the top and they would eye a turn-around after the tough tour to South Africa. Virat Kohli is at No 3 with Rahane, in all possibility, at No 4. Suresh Raina and skipper Dhoni could come to complete the line-up with Ravindra Jadeja at No 7. India have dropped Yuvraj Singh from their one-day side.
Ravichandran Ashwin is the top spinner in the lead and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami and Ishant Sharma should be the three seamers.
India Squad: MS Dhoni (captain and wicketkeeper), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Stuart Binny, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Ishant Sharma, Mohammad Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishwar Pandey, Varun Aaron, Amit Mishra.
New Zealand have been strengthened by the return of Jesse Ryder at the top. Ross Taylor and Brendon McCullum are the dangerous men and the seniors in the side whereas young Kane Williamson would hold the line-up together with his more conventional approach.
Kyle Mills will lead the bowling attack. There will be a temptation to play Adam Milne due to his extra pace and Nathan McCullum is the lone spinner of the team.
This series is a good launch-pad to New Zealand to firm up their plans for the future. Skipper Brendon McCullum hinted that they might look to play four fast bowlers on Sunday.
Whilst hosting the World Cup next year, New Zealand will get to play a quarter-final and a semi-final at their home ground, should they make it that far ahead into the tournament. Bowling coach Shane Bone said that they might have to play India in the quarters, or the semis, next year.
New Zealand Squad: Brendon McCullum (captain), Corey Anderson, Martin Guptill, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Adam Milne, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi (wicketkeeper), Jesse Ryder, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor and Kane Williamson.
Match starts 6.30 AM IST (LIVE on Sony SIX)