5th ODI (D/N), Wellington, February 03, 2019, India tour of New Zealand
(44.1/50 ov, T:253) 217

India won by 35 runs

Player Of The Match
90 (113)
Player Of The Series
9 wkts

Guptill injury worries New Zealand ahead of series finale

Colin Munro has rejoined the squad and could resume his place at the top of the order alongside Henry Nicholls

Big picture

Are India simply too reliant on Virat Kohli? That's the big question as they head to Wellington for the final ODI of the series. After tumbling to their biggest defeat (in terms of balls remaining) in ODIs, it's time for Rohit Sharma's men to prove the defeat was a one-off.
It's the last time before the World Cup that India will be playing in conditions that roughly simulate what can be expected in England, and for a batting order with a few spots still up for grabs, a solid show against the moving ball will be just what the selectors will want from the likes of Shubman Gill, Dinesh Karthik and Ambati Rayudu.
For New Zealand, Trent Boult, who took 5 for 21 in Hamilton, and Colin de Grandhomme gave a reminder of how devastating they can be if they manage to extract swing. To bookend the domination with the moving ball, Ross Taylor and Henry Nicholls showed glimpses of how India's wristspinners can be tackled - Yuzvendra Chahal went for 32 off 16 balls - and that may finally give the hosts a slight psychological edge.
New Zealand's plans, however, took a blow on the eve of the ODI, with Martin Guptill tweaking his back at practice. His potential absence could give Colin Munro - who was dropped from the fourth ODI - a golden opportunity to impress coach Gary Stead, who recently said the team management has zeroed in on Nicholls as the short-term opening choice, while Munro remains in their plans.
The Westpac Stadium, though, isn't New Zealand's favourite ground. They have lost each of their last three ODIs here.

Form guide

New Zealand (last five completed matches, most recent first) WLLLW

In the spotlight

Khaleel Ahmed and Shubman Gill are two players with an outside chance of earning a ticket to England. India were defending only 93 in Hamilton, but Khaleel's lengths seemed unsuitable for a surface where bowling full had earned New Zealand such reward.The fourth seam option remains vacant in India's prospective World Cup squad, and Khaleel will look to end his tour of the Southern Hemisphere - he was expensive and wicketless in Australia too - with a solid spell of left-arm bowling.
Kohli's departure and MS Dhoni's niggle opened the back door into the ODI line-up for Gill in Hamilton. For 20 balls, he looked the part on debut - fearless and compact - and he would have learned from his caught-and-bowled dismissal to a Boult inswinger. Importantly, with KL Rahul not finding form even in India against England Lions, a half-century or more in Wellington could secure Gill's place for the ODIs against Australia at home, and keep him in the picture for the reserve opener's role at the World Cup.
It's time for Kane Williamson to step up against a bowling attack that's been without Jasprit Bumrah, and could be without Mohammed Shami, for the final ODI. After scoring 64 in the series opener, he hasn't gone past 28 in the next three games. He's edged one to the keeper, chopped one onto his stumps, and flicked one right into midwicket's hands. A concrete contribution from him would be just the impetus New Zealand need for a big total, given their hard-hitting lower middle order.

Team news

Guptill's injury means Munro could return after missing one game. New Zealand may be tempted to give Doug Bracewell another shot, in place of James Neesham or Mitchell Santner. Matt Henry and Todd Astle would be favourites to keep their places having played just the one ODI each in the series.
New Zealand 1 Henry Nicholls, 2 Colin Munro, 3 Kane Willamson (capt), 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Tom Latham (wk), 6 Colin de Grandhomme, 7 James Neesham, 8 Doug Bracewell/Mitchell Santner, 9 Todd Astle 10 Matt Henry/Tim Southee, 11 Trent Boult
India have little reason to change their XI, given their goals and motives for the six ODIs that remain before the World Cup. But MS Dhoni is fit to play after missing the third and fourth ODIs with a hamstring injury, so expect a direct swap between him and Karthik, unless India decide to play Rayudu, Dhoni and Karthik at Nos. 3-5.
India (possible): 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Shubman Gill, 4 Ambati Rayudu, 5 MS Dhoni, 6 Kedar Jadhav, 7 Hardik Pandya, 8 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 9 Yuzvendra Chahal, 10 Kuldeep Yadav, 11 Khaleel Ahmed

Pitch and conditions

Sunny, summer conditions and a breezy evening are expected at the Westpac. New Zealand have an average total of 207 at this ground over the last three years, and there could be assistance in the form of swing.

Stats and trivia

  • Gill has an average of 104.46 in Youth ODIs.
  • If Taylor scores 110, he will become the seventh-fastest batsman to 8000 ODI runs.
  • Since Kohli's debut, India have so far only played eight ODIs without either him or Dhoni in their XI.


"The World Cup is going to be a long tournament, nine games to play. So you're going to get some injuries, players are going to miss out. So it also gave us a reflection as to how players will cope up in their absence. We were found wanting in that sort of a situation in the last game, but again, all these players are quality players."
Sanjay Bangar, India's batting coach, on not having Kohli and Dhoni for the 4th ODI
"It's a bit like Groundhog Day from four years ago, having that experience of desperately wanting to make a team for a big tournament and missing out, sort of puts me in good stead for this time around."
James Neesham on putting less pressure on his World Cup selection as opposed to four years ago.

Sreshth Shah is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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