Seddon Park, Hamilton, January 31, Thursday at 07:30 AM
‘They obviously hate getting out,’ Mitchell Santner ‘s take on the consistency of Indian batsmen reflects the way visitors India have ruthlessly breathed havoc in the minds of the hosts. Having already sealed the series, now India moves on to Seddon Park aiming a historic win against New Zealand. If India manages to clinch the series by 4-0, it would be India’s biggest series win across all formats in their 52 years of touring New Zealand.
New Zealand, on the other hand, would aim for lifting their hopes with a win after losing the ODI series against India. The hosts have only lost two ODIs since losing to South Africa in 2014-15, but their losses in the first three games must have raised doubts in the minds of the hosts ahead of the World Cup.
The only batsman who stood firm at the other end while the pace battery of India ripped apart their batting unit was Ross Taylor. Taylor added 93 runs on the board with Tom Latham who scored a half-century before getting caught by Ambati Rayudu on Chahal’s delivery. The openers of New Zealand have not been able to come up front and apart from Trent Boult, no other bowler has been able to trick the Indian batsmen with their spells.
However, despite losing the first three matches, hosts still have two games to go. With a motive of making a comeback in the series, New Zealand have added two new faces in the squad. They have brought in the leg-spinning all-rounder, Todd Astle and seam-bowling all-rounder Jimmy Neesham who will replace Doug Bracewell and Ish Sodhi.
India will be stepping into this game without their skipper and ace batsman Virat Kohli and his absence might pave way for young gun Shubman Gill who averaged over 60 in List A games during the Indian domestic season in 2018-19. The Indian camp have further been bolstered by the return of all-rounder Hardik Pandya who pleased with his all-round show in the Bay Oval.
New Zealand: L, L, L, W, W, L
India: W, W, W, W, W, L
The stats of Seddon Park favours the chasing teams. The second batting side has won the last four ODIs played at the ground. The last ODI in Seddon Park was played in February 2019 between New Zealand and England where hosts managed to chase down 285.
New Zealand have achieved victory in six out of their last seven ODI matches played in Hamilton. Their only loss came in 2017 against South Africa.
Kane Williamson (c), Lockie Ferguson/Todd Astle, Colin de Grandhomme, Trent Boult, Henry Nicholls, Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Jimmy Neesham, Colin Munro, Mitchell Santner.
Kuldeep Yadav, Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, Rohit Sharma, Mohammed Shami, Hardik Pandya, Shikhar Dhawan, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shubman Gill/Vijay Shankar Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Dinesh Karthik
#1: If Gill gets a game
As Indian stand-in skipper heads for his 200th ODI, let’s assume that Shastri and Sharma gives a chance to Shubman Gill who has received his maiden call-up in the national team for the remainder of series. Taking into account, the form of Rohit Sharma who has the third highest run aggregate after Virat Kohli (8767) and AB de Villiers (8520) after 199 ODIs, we have picked Sharma as the captain of our Dream11 team. Considering a possibility of Shubman Gill clicking in the first go, we have picked him as our vice-captain.
#2: If India decides to play one spinner instead of two
Talking about the dominant performance of Indian pace attack, Mitchell Santner heaped praises on the spin duo Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. “They are bowling very well at the moment. The slower pace that they bowl is tending to get a little bit more out of the wicket than guys like myself who bowl a little bit quicker,” Santner said.
However, if India decides to rest one spinner among Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, they might rope in fast bowlers Mohammed Siraj or Khaleel Ahmed in their place.
#3. If New Zealand plays Todd Astle and Jimmy Neesham for the dead rubber
New Zealand have roped in two new faces for the fourth ODI. Jimmy Neesham, the spin bowling all-rounder who has amassed 934 runs for New Zealand in 44 matches can stabilise the middle order of the hosts.
Todd Astle fared well against India A and picked up four wickets in Vishakhapatnam in 2017. Astle, who has seven scalps to his name in international cricket can also be a safe bet for the hosts.