INDIA TOUR OF NEW ZEALAND, 2022
Arshdeep will be looking to impress in 50-over cricket as well. © AFP
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Dhawan eventually tees off
He was definitely struggling to get going while Gill looked a lot more fluid on the other end. But Dhawan makes amends in that 15th round to round it out with back-to-back borders. India is 68/0 after 15 overs. The run rate isn’t great, but they have all 10 wickets in hand. Space lines are short, so it’s time for the two to hit the gas pedal.
Tough Chance!! Shubman deflects a short ball right over the keeper’s head and that goes all the way to the six, but then he follows with a wild swing only to get a thick outside edge. The ball flies again and Lockie near the third-man line is in business. He dives and almost snags an excellent catch before spilling the ball. India is 40/0 after 10 overs. It was a good fight between bat and ball. New Zealand would have loved a wicket at that time.
As expected, there is movement for seafarers in this area. Both Dhawan and Gill were particularly alert as Matt Henry bowled some beauties. But Gill breaks the bonds and hits him long for a six to round out the sixth over. India are 23/0.
Toss – New Zealand opts for bowling
No surprises as New Zealand choose to bowl on a surface that has long been under cover. And today they go in with four seamstresses. It’s a big challenge for India, we could see a good fight between bat and ball. But the big news is that Umran Malik and Arshdeep Singh will be making their debut in this format.
India (Player XI): Shikhar Dhawan (c), Shubman Gill, Rishabh Pant (w), Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Sanju Samson, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Umran Malik, Arshdeep Singh, Yuzvendra Chahal
New Zealand (Player XI): Finn Allen, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson (c), Tom Latham (w), Daryl Mitchell, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Adam Milne, Matt Henry, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson
Well, there is no doubt that the cricket calendar is getting too busy. Less than two weeks ago, England and Pakistan met in the final of the T20 World Cup. Since then we have already had a three-game ODI series between Australia and England. New Zealand have hosted India for three T20Is and you wouldn’t be surprised if the average fan doesn’t remember what happened in those six games. There is clearly an overdose. The fact that the MCG wore a deserted look for an ODI with Australia and England made headlines everywhere. That certainly won’t be the case today in the first ODI with New Zealand and ODI and it has to be said that at least a change in format is giving Indian fans a much needed respite.
After all those T20 games over the last 12 months, India is ready to switch to ODI mode and with good reason. They’re hosting the ODI World Cup in less than 12 months and they’re dying to win it. Some of their regulars are rested and that means more opportunities for the fringe players to stake their claim. It’s a huge streak for just about every single member in the XI being selected today, starting with backup skipper Shikhar Dhawan. There was a bit of pressure on the veteran as Shubman Gill was starting to make an impression and as a result Dhawan would be very keen to end the noise.
Suryakumar Yadav has been in brilliant touch, but can he replicate it over a longer period of time in this format to push the likes of Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul into a mid-tier spot? Pant himself would try to get into the groove after a T20 format lull. It will be interesting to see if India unleash Umran Malik with the ball today, especially given the prospect of favorable conditions for the seafarers. New Zealand, on the other hand, have expressed their desire to give Finn Allen a longer run in ODIs in place of Martin Guptill. Let’s see how that goes. Welcome to the live blog for this first ODI. Let’s hope for a cracker.