The action of New Zealand’s India tour shifts to the more vigorous atmosphere of ODIs now. The first match will be played at Dharmasala tomorrow. India will be looking for yet another clean sweep, following their 3-0 win of the test series. A New Zealand will be working hard to avoid a similar whitewash. The odds of cricket betting are stacked in favour of India. And there is a reason for it. New Zealand last won an ODI match in India in 2003 – almost 13 years ago. Six ODI matches have been played between these sides since then. India won all six.
This New Zealand side is capable of changing that dismal record. It is true that they lost the test series 3-0. But they had reached a dominant position in the first two tests, but failed to capitalize on the advantage. It would not be a surprise if they give India a tough challenge in the five-match ODI series.
Preview – India
India have rested R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami. The New Zealand batsmen can breathe a sigh of relief at least for the three matches. Suresh Raina too is likely to miss the first ODI due to fever. MS Dhoni will return as captain and the ODI version of Rohit Sharma will be back to open the innings for India. Bowling department will be a bit thin. Jasprit Bumrah, Dhawal Kulkarni and Umesh Yadav will don the role of strike bowlers. The team is heavily dependent on Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane and Dhoni to score big.
Preview – New Zealand
New Zealand will find the pitch in Dharmasala suited to their style. It is winter time in North India. The climate will be soothing and pitch will be seaming. Tim Southee is injured. Corey Anderson is only fit for batting. That would mean only Trent Boult, Matt Henry and Doug Bracewell are available for exploiting the supposedly seamer-friendly conditions. The arrival of Anton Devich will strengthen the batting. Kane Williamson, Martin Guptil and Ross Taylor will look forward to perform better after a largely disappointing test series.
India have shown a recent tendency to start the the ODI series diffidently. That is where New Zealand’s hopes lie. That is why this could be the best time in this to take risks in cricket betting. If Kiwis can rise to the occasion, they have a match to win here.