After inflicting some serious damage to the high-flying Indian side in the fourth ODI, New Zealand will look to replicate their revamped showing for one more time to end the series on a high. A change in squad for both sides guaranteed a little change to what was an entirely one-sided series before then. New Zealand not just managed to win, but also left India scratching their head thinking about their bench strength. Three comprehensive wins on the trot to take the series seem nothing now going into the final ODI, as New Zealand have all of a sudden started looking to be the better side. Despite the dominance with which New Zealand took the fourth ODI, they’ll be very well aware that it was only Trent Boult who turned the tides in their favour and the rest of their squad still looks to be concern. By the time the third ODI was played, nobody would have thought that the final ODI will have any significance left. But the way things panned out in the very next ODI have left the final ODI being as crucial as the final game of a series should be, or rather a bit more than that. A win is the only thing both sides will now settle for come Sunday.
Injuries: Tim Southee continues to stay sidelined but he might play again in the final ODI considering Matt Henry’s poor showing in the fourth ODI.
Doubt: The more you look at New Zealand, the more unsettled their batting looks like. Nichols, promoted up the order to fill in for Colin Munro, looked impressive though and may just continue to keep the prolific Colin Munro out again.
Questionable: Matt Henry bowled 8 wicket-less overs on a track that had enough for his pace to do wonders. With Tim Southee waiting to have a go, he might just be the one facing the axe tomorrow.
Expected Changes: The only change which we expect is of Tim Southee coming back in to the side for Matt Henry.
Injuries: MS Dhoni has been signalled 100% fit to take the field again in the final ODI.
Doubt: Ravindra Jadeja was expected to start in the fourth ODI to give Kuldeep Yadav some red, but it wasn’t to be. In the final ODI, the chances of that happening will be much greater now.
Questionable: Khaleel Ahmed bowled just three overs of the 14 Indian bowlers got to bowl in the fourth ODI. Considering he was India’s front line pacer and the pitch was assisting the pacers, his performance was certainly questionable.
Expected Changes: If Khaleel’s case is considered, it will be Mohammad Siraj replacing him. Ravindra Jadeja, too, is expected to replace Kuldeep Yadav. MS Dhoni too will return to the Playing11 to replace Dinesh Karthik.
Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Tom Latham (WK), Kane Williamson (C), Ross Taylor, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Colin de Grandhomme, Trent Boult, Todd Astle, Tim Southee/Matt Henry
Rohit Sharma (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, MS Dhoni (WK), Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav/Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshvar Kumar, Mohammad Siraj/Khaleel Ahmed
New Zealand clawed their way back into the series on the back of a sensational spell from Trent Boult. Barring him, not many from the Black Caps stood out again. De Grandhomme too was great with his line and length, but now the Batsmen too will have to step up and take responsibility. Jimmy Neesham is our pick of the day if we consider it to be a full 100-over match. Neesham will get all the fantasy players points with both bat and ball. Shubman Gill too will be a man to watch out for.