The Indian team wouldn’t have expected to wrap up the five-match ODI series against New Zealand in the first three matches; however, they will be happy to use this position to try their bench strength ahead of the ICC World Cup.
The Men in Blue, have not just won the three matches, but thrashed the Kiwis in all of them. Virat Kohli is rested for the remainder of the tour and therefore Rohit Sharma will be at the helm for the last two ODIs and the T20 series.
Here’s a look at the predicted XI for the Indian team for the fourth ODI in Hamilton.
Rohit Sharma has been in tremendous form in this series. He has scored two back-to-back half-centuries in the second and third ODI. A good start is always imperative for any team and Rohit has provided it more often than not in the last few years. The Mumbai batsman scored 87 and 62 in the second and third ODI respectively. The responsibility of captaincy will certainly motivate him to score even better.
Shikhar Dhawan showed good form in the first two ODIs, but went off the boil in the third ODI. The hard-hitting opening batsman will be certainly looking to get among the runs and maybe score a big hundred. Dhawan didn’t have a great ODI series in Australia, but he has made it count in New Zealand.
The star of the U-19 World Cup in 2018, Shubman Gill caught the eye of the selectors with his performances in domestic cricket. The Punjab batsman has scored 1,089 runs in 9 first-class matches and 1,529 runs in 36 List A matches. Virat Kohli has said that he wasn’t even 10 percent of what Gill is when he was 19 years old. This is a huge comment from the Indian captain and therefore Gill could make his India debut in the fourth ODI.
Even though Ambati Rayudu has been batting at number four in this series, he hasn’t got enough time to show his potential. However, he has played his role perfectly in the last three matches. He has remained not out while India’s chases in the first and third ODI. In the second ODI, Rayudu forged crucial partnerships with Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni.
MS Dhoni missed the third ODI due to a hamstring injury. If he is declared fit for the fourth ODI, he will certainly play instead of Dinesh Karthik. The wicketkeeper-batsman has been in good nick since the ODI series in Australia. Dhoni has shown that he can still finish games with his cool and calm demeanour and also strike the big hits when India are setting a target.
Kedra Jadhav has got only one chance to bat in this series. In the second ODI, Jadhav made an impact with the 10 deliveries he faced with a score of 22 runs. He strung an important partnership of 53 runs with MS Dhoni which helped the visitors to take their score over 320. The 33-year-old has been contributing with a few wickets as well.
Hardik Pandya made a fantastic comeback to the Indian team with figures of 2/45 and a spectacular catch to dismiss New Zealand’s best batsman Kane Williamson. After making controversial comments on Koffee with Karan, Pandya will surely want to make a bigger mark in international cricket. He also provides good balance to the side with his ability to bat and bowl.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been bowling in good rhythm in this series. He has bowled at tight line and lengths at a decent economy rate. The fast bowler has provided early breakthroughs in the last two ODIs. He has taken the wicket of opening batsman Martin Guptill in the last two matches. Mohammed Shami has said that Bhuvneshwar’s bowling has helped him bowl better at the other end.
Kuldeep Yadav has been in great form in this ODI series. He took consecutive four-wicket hauls in the first two matches. He may have gone wicket-less in the third ODI, but he still bowled an economical spell of 4.87 in eight overs. The chinaman bowler has forged a great relationship with Yuzvendra Chahal, restricting the opposition’s runs by taking wickets in the middle overs.
Yuzvendra Chahal has been bowling brilliantly since the third ODI against Australia. In this series, he has bowled economical spells and chipped in with two wickets in each of the matches. The leg-spinner is a vital player for the World Cup and could get a nod ahead of Kuldeep if India decide to play only one spinner in some of the future matches.
Mohammed Shami has been playing non-stop since the first Test against Australia in Adelaide. The Indian team management may look to give Shami rest and play Mohammed Siraj instead. Siraj didn’t get off to the best of starts in his ODI career when he conceded 76 runs in the second ODI against Australia. But, he could be given another opportunity to lift his own spirits.
First Published: Jan 29, 2019 16:24 IST