The top five players from New Zealand must perform in dead rubber
Only 219 runs were scored in game two compared to 686 in game one of the series. Even though the number of runs scored decreased by over 70% from the first ODI to the second, New Zealand’s top five batsmen seldom appeared in either match.
When pursuing 350 runs in Hyderabad, their top five scored a combined 101 runs. However, when batting first in Raipur, they only scored 11 runs as New Zealand fell to 15 for 5.
They avoided embarrassment the first time thanks to Michael Bracewell’s amazing 140 off 78 balls, but there was nothing to cover their faces in the second.
Undoubtedly, New Zealand needs a boost from their top five, which is without Kane Williamson, and the fact that Indore, the site of the last game, delivers runs on a plate like its cuisine would cheer them up.
Australia scored 293 in their last ODI played here in September 2017, with their top three scorers accounting for 229 of that total, including a century from Aaron Finch.
And in the most recent T20I played here in October, South Africa amassed 227 before Rilee Rossouw smashed a match-winning 48-ball century to win it. India had trouble eliminating the top five players on both occasions.
The batters that New Zealand will be counting on most are Devon Conway, Henry Nicholls, and Daryl Mitchell. Tom Latham, batting at No. 5, is also likely due for runs against a team that he currently averages (minimum five innings) and scores the most runs against.
Finn Allen made a start in the first ODI, but Mohammed Shami’s swing completely destroyed him in the second. He will be eager to score runs as well.
More problems exist for New Zealand. They may not have many chances of it occurring in Indore and are already without Tim Southee and Trent Boult, but they will be eager for quick wickets to stop Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma from punishing them further.
Given that the series is already won, India should not worry. Before KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer return from personal leave and injury, respectively, and with only one more ODI series remaining before the IPL, fans would like to witness more of Suryakumar Yadav’s batting in this format.
India would move to the top of the ODI standings with a victory of 3-0. If India triumphs by a score of 3-0, England will need to defeat South Africa by a score of 3-0 in the ODI series that begins on January 27 in order to unseat India as the top team.
For the World Cup later this year, Suryakumar is on many former players’ and experts’ wish lists. Where does he fit in, though?
Virat Kohli slots in at No. 3, Iyer at No. 4, and Hardik Pandya at No. 6, leaving only No. 5 once everyone is available. On the basis of recent performance, Rahul receives both the keeping gloves and that position.
Suryakumar, though, has earned a couple ODIs in the run-up to the major event later this year thanks to his scorching performance in T20s and even the two Ranji Trophy games he recently played, but time is also running out for him.
He did not get to bat in the second One Day International, and who knows, he might not get another one after this series (they play three against Australia in March) before the IPL. He got 31 off 26 in the first ODI. What can he accomplish in just one game to win over the panel of judges and the team management?
In Pakistan, Conway was in top form before crossing the border. In the Tests, he scored 91 and 122 runs, and then in the ODIs, he struck a century and a half-century runs to average 51 and win Player of the Series.
In each of the two ODIs so far, he has faced 16 balls, but he would like to spend more time in the middle before the teams switch to T20Is. Conway is the name in the top order New Zealand might look to for both quick runs and solidity, aside from the expertise of Latham.
India could use some different players on Tuesday after winning the series. Kuldeep Yadav might be replaced by Yuzvendra Chahal, who only participated in one ODI against Sri Lanka.
It would be interesting to see if India will play Rajat Patidar or Shahbaz Ahmed, who are hardly World Cup contenders, or if they will stick with their first-choice players to boost their confidence before the big game at home.
Taking Shardul Thakur’s place would thin the batting, thus Umran Malik may replace Mohammed Siraj or Mohammed Shami. However, doing so would require Hardik to open the bowling because Malik typically comes on as the first change.
India (probable): 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Shubman Gill, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Ishan Kishan (wk), 5 Suryakumar Yadav, 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Washington Sundar, 8 Shardul Thakur, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 and 11: two out of Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj and Umran Malik
New Zealand (probable): 1 Finn Allen, 2 Devon Conway, 3 Henry Nicholls/Mark Chapman, 4 Daryl Mitchell, 5 Tom Latham (capt & wk), 6 Glenn Phillips, 7 Michael Bracewell, 8 Mitchell Santner, 9 Doug Bracewell/Henry Shipley/Jacob Duffy, 10 Blair Tickner, 11 Lockie Ferguson