It's that time in the cycle of endless cricket when the 50-over format springs back to life. The T20 World Cup is over, and with the next ODI World Cup less than 12 months away, the three-match series between New Zealand and India commencing on Friday in Auckland will be the start of their build-up towards the global event.
New Zealand LLLWW (last five completed ODIs, most recent first)
In the spotlight
Mitchell Santner may not be a wicket-taker - he has 86 wickets in 84 ODIs - but he knows how to keep batters quiet. Even on New Zealand's small grounds, he has an impressive economy rate of 4.81. If the pace attacks of the two teams are evenly matched, Santner's spin could prove to be the difference.
New Zealand have gone in with just five bowling options in their recent ODIs, and they could follow the same strategy once again. If so, from the side that played the third T20I, Ish Sodhi and Adam Milne could be replaced by Latham and Henry. Sodhi is not part of the ODI squad, while Milne was expensive during the T20I leg. Latham will also take over the wicketkeeping duties from Devon Conway.
Pitch and conditions
Eden Park in Auckland is also a rugby venue that has extremely short straight boundaries so expect bowlers to go short and wide. The boundaries get even shorter behind the wicketkeeper, so watch out for Suryakumar's 360-degree strokeplay. In terms of economy rate, spinners (4.79) have fared slightly better than fast bowlers (5.03). The weather is expected to be cloudy and windy, with temperatures around 18°C. At the moment, there is no forecast for rain.
Stats and trivia
- Tim Southee is one away from becoming the fifth New Zealand bowler to take 200 ODI wickets. A five-for will see him jump past Chris Cairns (201) and Chris Harris (203) to No. 3.
- Since the 2019 World Cup final, Williamson has played only six ODIs. It's a small sample size, but his strike rate in those games was only 56.16.
- Chahal is India's leading wicket-taker in ODIs this year - 21 wickets in 11 matches with an economy of 5.35.
"It's tough but you do feel like it will settle somewhere and I don't know how and I don't know what it'll look like. But there is a huge amount of cricket on and a lot of teams almost have two teams at the moment playing international cricket. I know there are always conversations about trying to make it more appealing, any format really, context, different rule changes etc. So we'll just see."
Kane Williamson on the future of ODIs and whether the format is losing its appeal
India's stand-in captain Shikhar Dhawan on Sanju Samson not getting a chance during the T20I series
Hemant Brar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo