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|Colin de Grandhomme||11||8||2||0||137.50|
|Colin de Grandhomme||7.0||0||33||0||4.71|
India won the first three matches very comfortably but lost to New Zealand by a record margin in the fourth ODI. New Zealand was able to inflict the biggest ODI victory over India in terms of deliveries still remaining.
What changed in the matter of a few days? Virat Kohli was absent for this match but that is not something new for the Indian team to deal with. He sat out the Asia Cup as well and India barely broke a sweat in that tournament.
New Zealand rung in two changes but it was their spearhead Trent Boult that ran through the top-order. His performance was exceptional and exposed some of the weaknesses in the Indian batting order. Can New Zealand repeat that sort of performance and end the ODI series with another victory?
India may have the ODI series in the bag but will be keen to get back to winning ways ahead of the T20 series which starts just a couple of days after.
For the first time in the ODI series, New Zealand got weather conditions that helped its swing bowlers. There was some pace in the wicket as well which helped as well as the fact that they won the toss. This was by no means a surface on which such a batting collapse can be expected. Even New Zealand would be happy to agree that this was one of the days where everything they tried came off.
Looking ahead at the final ODI in Wellington, the conditions are expected to be in favor of the batsmen once again. The key for New Zealand will be to pick up early wickets once again.
Trent Boult and Colin de Grandhoome shared 8 wickets between them predominantly because of the swing that was on offer. Matt Henry bowled very well and kept the pressure on but he went wicketless. We don’t think New Zealand is going to make a change to this bowling lineup for the final ODI.
The addition of Todd Astle and Jimmy Neesham gives the bowling some more options although they are pretty similar to Ish Sodhi and Doug Bracewell, the players they are replacing. Neither of the two bowlers was really tested in this match.
For New Zealand to win against India, getting early wickets has to be paramount. Unlike some other countries around the world, India does not bat too deep and has a middle order that is quite shaky. Kane Williamson must throw everything at getting early wickets irrespective of conditions or the outcome of the toss.
Batting without pressure also allowed the New Zealand batsmen to play some attacking strokes. Martin Guptill hit two sixes and one four in his stay of four deliveries while Ross Taylor hit three sixes in his brief inning as well.
It was an expression of intent and the fact that the New Zealand batsmen are going to take the game to the Indian bowlers in the next game as well. The elevation of Henry Nicholls to the opening slot makes sense although three all-rounders from 6,7, and 8 might be a tad too much.
New Zealand showed in this match just why it is so tough to beat in home conditions and will follow the same strategy in the next match.
Henry Nicholls, Colin Munro, KS Williamson, Ross Taylor, TWM Latham, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Colin de Grandhomme, TD Astle, Matt Henry, TA Boult.
Rohit Sharma commented that this was one of the worst batting performances from an Indian side and that is no exaggeration. It brought back memories of the Champions Trophy Final which India lost to Pakistan.
Early wickets against this Indian side are invaluable. India is lucky to have perhaps one of the greatest top-3 ever assembled in an ODI side but they are without Virat Kohli for the next match. This means an untested, although promising, youngster is going to have to try and fill the biggest boots in cricket.
Shubman Gill comes in with a big reputation and a string of good scores in the lower levels but this is something different. We are certain that India will persist with him at number three in the final match of the series as well.
The key for India is going to be the opening partnership. Both Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma have the penchant for scoring centuries and are brilliant in ODI cricket. Rohit Sharma also tends to raise his game when he is captaining which is something to be wary off as a New Zealand supporter.
India is one of the rare teams in world cricket at the moment that plays a traditional style of ODI cricket. Their game plan is to take time at the top and then accelerate through the overs. The real test comes in when there are early wickets and that was shown in the previous game once again.
The only change that India might contemplate is bringing back MS Dhoni if he is fit. Dhoni’s absence in this match showed just the kind of stability he brings to the side. India needs someone with his experience in the middle order although, with the ICC World Cup 2019 around the corner, we don’t think India is going to risk Dhoni in a dead rubber.
With literally nothing on the line, India should allow the same team to face up to New Zealand once again.
One bad performance does not make the Indian team bad and we think they are still favorites for the final game. Expect the Indian batting to bounce back strongly and come hard at New Zealand. Resting Mohammad Shami was an odd decision but that is also the team is likely to stick with.
Khaleel Ahmed did not get a chance to show what he can do on these surfaces and will likely get another game. India’s spinners have been the biggest difference between the two sides and they were not in the game at all in the previous match. New Zealand still has to prove that it has found a way past them and so we would think twice before counting out India.
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, V Shankar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, YS Chahal.
The side winning the toss is likely to want to field first
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
The fifth and final ODI between New Zealand and India is going to be played at Westpac Stadium, Wellington. The weather forecast is for clear skies with the sun out and so we should have another uninterrupted day of cricket.
The pitch at the Westpac Stadium is generally very good for batting. The highest total recorded there was 393 by New Zealand against the West Indies. England has the lowest total score at the ground after being bowled out for 89.
The Sri Lankan hold the record for the highest ODI chase at the ground when they scored 312 for the loss of just one wicket.
We think a score of around 300 is going to be par. The ODI series is yet to witness a close match and we think this one could be it.
New Zealand and India are pretty evenly matched sides irrespective of what the scoreline might say. The fact that all matches have been one-sided shows that a team getting on top early can be hard to pull back. We think India’s batting is going to hit back strongly and the spinners provide the bowling attack a variety that New Zealand cannot match.
Back India to win.
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