New Zealand v India, 1st ODI, Napier

Have-nots' chance to send across message

The Preview by Sidharth Monga

January 18, 2014

Comments: 115 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

Sunday, January 19, 2014
Start time 1400 local (0100 GMT)


Adam Milne picked up two wickets, New Zealand v West Indies, 2nd T20, Wellington, January 15, 2014
Adam Milne could be New Zealand's strike weapon against India © Getty Images
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Big Picture

On Sunday begins what is possibly one of India's last full tours to countries other than England and Australia. New Zealand will have woken up to news that the big three of world cricket want to take control of the ICC, and want to do away with the FTP, which in any case is not binding on the member nations. This is New Zealand's chance to show they might not be bringing in as much money as the big three to the ICC, but they are not have-nots. That they bring enough flair of their own. Starting with the Napier ODI, the first New Zealand will be playing against India in more than three years, there should be enough motivation for the hosts to push India off the top of the ICC ODI rankings, which they can do with a series win.

Conflictingly they will also know that the IPL will be watching, a tournament at the heart of such division between the haves and the have-nots in world cricket. No New Zealander has been retained by the IPL. This series is a chance for the New Zealand players to send one final reminder to the franchises. And to correct the following statistic: their batsmen have the worst average of teams that have played ODIs in New Zealand since December 2011.

The Indian batsmen will be looking forward to the smaller outfields and the usually flat pitches in New Zealand. Brendon McCullum, though, is already flirting with the ideas of playing four quicks. Mike Hesson, the coach, has asked the groundsmen in New Zealand for a harsh welcome for India. The focus, once again, will shift to the Indian bowlers for whom going for less than 300 was considered an achievement in South Africa even when they themselves struggled to get to 200.

Playing cricket in New Zealand is different. There are drop-in pitches, heavy winds and oddly shaped grounds. New Zealand should carry a big advantage from their familiarity with the conditions, but they will want it to show in the results: since beating West Indies in 2008-09, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are the only teams they have beaten in home ODI series.

Form guide

New Zealand LWWLL (last five completed matches, most recent first)
India LLWLW

In the spotlight

Shikhar Dhawan has come into the spotlight after struggling on India's tour of South Africa, scoring 88 in six international innings. He will get quite a few bowled at his ribs with men back on the leg side. There won't be much to drive through the covers. Dhawan will have to show he is evolving as a batsman.

One of the bowlers testing Dhawan is likely to be Adam Milne, who clocked 153.9kmph during a recent Twenty20 international against West Indies. He says he has bowled faster in some domestic games where there are no speed guns. He could be one of the four quicks that McCullum wants unleashed on India.

Teams news

If New Zealand do play four specialist quicks, one out of Nathan McCullum and James Neesham might have to make way. Also, Hesson has already said Corey Anderson might be a bit fatigued, and might miss out on a game or two at some time during the series. Anderson wasn't even released for Northern Districts' T20 playoff against Canterburry.

New Zealand (possible): 1 Martin Guptill, 2 Jesse Ryder, 3 Kane Williamson, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Brendon McCullum (capt), 6 Corey Anderson/James Neesham 7 Luke Ronchi (wk), 8 Nathan McCullum/Adam Milne, 9. Kyle Mills, 10 Tim Southee, 11 Mitchell McClenaghan

India had dropped Yuvraj Singh from their previous ODI series. If they pick a batsman for batsman, either Ajinya Rahane or Ambati Rayudu should come in. However, India could also think of giving Stuart Binny a debut, especially because they have missed a seam-bowling allrounder on these away trips, and ODIs are a good place to test him. If Binny does play, he could come in at the expense of a specialist batsman or even R Ashwin, who had a torrid time in South Africa.

India (possible) 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Suresh Raina, 5 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 6 Ajinkya Rahane/Stuart Binny/Ambati Rayudu, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin/Stuart Binny, 9 Ishant Sharma, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Pitch and conditions

Over to MS Dhoni: "The wicket looks good, dry and hard. Looks good for ODIs. Fast bowlers will get extra bounce. Intelligent bowlers may use the wind to their advantage, if you bowl in the right areas the ball may swing for a duration of time. Normally it stops after 10-15 overs, but here it may be prolonged a bit. Bowlers will have something from the wicket but once the batsmen get set they will love the pace and bounce."

A sunny Sunday with a high of 27 degrees and a low of 15 has been forecast.

Stats and trivia

  • MS Dhoni is one short of becoming the fourth wicketkeeper, and first Indian, with 300 ODI dismissals. Kumar Sangakkara, Mark Boucher and Adam Gilchrist are ahead of him
  • In ODIs since 2004, only India have been a worse venue for fast bowlers than New Zealand. Quicks in New Zealand have averaged 35.48 over the period at an economy rate of 5.33. The corresponding numbers in India have been 35.50 and 5.48
  • From the current India squad, only MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma have played in New Zealand

Quotes

"Obviously we'll see how everyone pulls up through training as well, but I think it will be quite nice to unleash a bit of pace in this opening game and then try and be aggressive and as hostile as we can with ball in hand."
Brendon McCullum doesn't want to give India a soft welcome

"We have looked into each and every aspect of not only batting and bowling, but fielding also, which will be very crucial. So most of the areas have been covered, and we have had a few days to prepare."
MS Dhoni says India are ready

Dravid: Death bowling still a concern for India

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

RSS Feeds: Sidharth Monga

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Harmony_not_Discord on (January 19, 2014, 9:51 GMT)

In the wake of "big three" conspiring to make a cartel, this was NZ chance to show that they are not have-nots. They did that pretty well as suggested in the preview with a victory over the No 1 ODI side.

It goes to show other teams do bring enough flair of their own. Money issue aside, when it comes to pure cricket there should be no division between the haves and the have-nots. Do not forget the great contributions made in world cricket by these teams.

Posted by Bdcricketdebator on (January 19, 2014, 5:03 GMT)

Newzealand missing fleming,bond,vettori and others just like india is missing tendulker(as some indian friends mentioned).by the way i am quite stuned to see indian bowlers conceded less than three hundred!!!i think superior newzealand batsmen were in no form.

Posted by truecric_fan on (January 19, 2014, 0:06 GMT)

Indian team is not only more talented but is mentally tougher than NZ team. Anything short of 4-1 win for India will be disappointing.

Posted by wolf777 on (January 18, 2014, 23:59 GMT)

I don't think India should play two spinners. NZ is not going to prepare turning wickets and Ashwin is not the same bowler overseas. The best bet would be to go in with four fasters/medium pacers and Jadeja.

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 23:50 GMT)

Time for every cricket fan to show his support for the Sport and ensure packed houses and views on TV. Save the sport!

Posted by Mutunga on (January 18, 2014, 23:08 GMT)

I write this as an NZer. I'm looking forward to seeing the Indian team in action here. I'll pick a close ODI series, won by India. I doubt the ability of the NZ bowling attack to restrict India when conditions are favourable for batting. NZ's batting is brittle, but might surprise the doubters by chasing down or setting a couple of big totals.

There should be a lot of runs today. Napier is traditionally a good batting pitch and the outfield is roughly the size of a postage stamp.

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 22:23 GMT)

for me, no Ashwin please, jadeja will do the job of spin

Posted by bjkboyer on (January 18, 2014, 22:22 GMT)

INDIA= No Tendulkar no hope everyone knows they can't win away from home and never have been able too hence why they are scared playing against Bangladesh.

@rey4 - I guess NZ will only need 10 players to beat India

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 22:14 GMT)

India need Varun Aaron back in this side he is in the touring party, dump out ishant sharma, opponents ensure he gets in one good performance so that he loses the remainder of the games in series, he is the new ashish nehra. Adam milne is phenomenal, I hope he has a successful series

Posted by   on (January 18, 2014, 22:13 GMT)

Ishant Sharma has been given a life membership of the Indian cricket ODI and test teams. There is no other way to explain why he is forever in the side.

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