India and New Zealand will be playing a three match ODI series starting January 18. Both teams come from emphatic series wins against Sri Lanka and Pakistan respectively. India go into the series as clear favourites having enjoyed a six nail record over the Kiwis in terms of bilateral ODI series at home. India has been excellent in bilateral series for a while now and it will take a strong effort for the Kiwis to stop India’s consistency. Both teams have a sorted group on offer and with the ICC World Cup to be held in India this year the preparations with this group of players will be key. India will miss Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja and Shreyas Iyer in the upcoming series. For New Zealand, Kane Williamson and Tim Southee will not be available. Both teams are in for some exciting player battles and ahead of the series we decode the same.
Rohit Sharma versus Lockie Ferguson
With 9596 runs in ODIs, India’s Rohit Sharma is a lethal weapon with the bat upfront. Rohit has also scored 700+ runs against New Zealand in ODI’s. His application against Lockie Ferguson will be key. Ferguson has serious pace and can mix things up with Russian presence of mind. His slower deliveries will test Rohit’s abilities. Across three innings, Rohit has scored 37 runs against Ferguson at an average of 37.00. However the bowler has managed to dismiss Rohit on one occasion. With Tim Southee absent, the responsibility will be huge on the shoulders of Ferguson.
Virat Kohli versus New Zealand spinners
Kohli has been in top form in ODI’s recently. Across his last four innings, he has smashed three centuries. After a solid series against Sri Lanka at home, Kohli will try to replicate his heroics once again. Kohli has enjoyed playing against New Zealand and has smashed 1378 runs at an average of over 50. He also has five centuries and 8 fifties versus the Kiwis. Kohli, who is nearing the 5500 run mark at home, will be the cynosure of all eyes. The contest between Kohli and New Zealand’s spinners Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner will be key. Versus Santner, Kohli has scored 143 runs off 201 deliveries at an average of 143.00. Santner has been able to dismiss the star Indian player on one occasion. There have been 84 dot balls across the 11 innings Kohli has faced Santner. Ish Sodhi, Kohli has managed 89 runs from 73 balls. He has an average of 29.66 against Sodhi. The New Zealand spinner has managed to dismiss Kohli on three occasions. Kohli has hit seven boundaries off Sodhi’s bowling.
Devon Conway versus Mohammed Siraj
The contest between Conway and Siraj can set up the ball rolling in this ODI series. Siraj has been excellent with the new ball, racing to 33 wickets at a healthy average. Facing him will be Devon Conway, who has scored in excess of 500 runs at an average of over 40. Conway likes to take his time and carry the New Zealand innings. Conway’s application will become all the more important in Kane Williamson’s absence. He will need to negotiate the swing and deliveries bowled in tight channels against someone like Siraj. Against left-handed batsmen, Siraj has picked up seven wickets across 19 innings. He has an average of 32.14. Siraj has given away 225 runs off 271 deliveries against left-handed batsmen in ODI cricket.
Tom Latham versus Umran Malik
With 3442 runs, New Zealand’s Tom Latham will be vital in this upcoming series. Latham has all the Pedigree to make his stay at the crease justified. He will be keen to showcase his strength against fast bowler Umran Malik. Umran has come into this Indian side, impressing one and all with his pace. In 7ODI matches, Umran has already claimed 12 wickets at an economy rate of just over six. Latham, who can ring in big scores, will need to negotiate Umran’s offerings. Imran has been excellent against left-handed batters in ODI cricket. Across six innings, he has managed to take five wickets at an average of 17.80. He has conceded 89 runs from 96 deliveries against the left-handed batsmen.
Kuldeep Yadav versus Glenn Phillips
Kuldeep Yadav has had an excellent return to the ODI set-up, impressing largely against Sri Lanka. Before that, he also bowled well against Bangladesh. Kuldeep’s ability to purchase spin and keep the batsmen guessing will serve India well. One will enjoy Kuldip bowling against an in-form Glenn Phillips. Phillips is an excellent middle-order batter and a dangerous finisher. Kuldip will try to get someone like Phillips early on in his innings. Across four innings, Philips has managed to score 22 runs against left-arm spinners. He has been dismissed twice already. Phillips, who has hit just two boundaries against left-arm spinners, carries an average of 11.00 against them.