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Wednesday, February 19, 2020 04:16:40 PM
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Focus on young guns as India look for winning start to New Zealand ODIs

photo by Agency photo

India skipper Virat Kohli (right) and New Zealand captain Tom Latham pose with trophy ahead of 3-match ODI series on Tuesday.

By Agency
05th-Feb-2020       
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On the back of a clean sweep in the T20s the Virat Kohli-led Indian team will be high on confidence going into the three-match ODI series against New Zealand, who are without Kane Williamson for the first two games. The first ODI will be played in Seddon Park in Hamilton today.
India too have their injury problems with opener Rohit Sharma ruled out of the rest of the tour due to a calf injury, paving the way for young Prithvi Shaw. The Men in Blue are already missing Shikhar Dhawan, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Deepak Chahar while Trent Boult is the other big name missing for the hosts. Mayank Agarwal was named as Rohit's replacement for the ODI series on Tuesday. Skipper Virat Kohli outlined that they will stick to the strategy adopted against Australia in Rajkot, where KL Rahul kept wickets and batted at number five.
For India, the biggest worry will be the poor fielding that they has been on show so far on the tour and captain Kohli has not only acknowledged it but also asked his young side to pull up their socks.
Kohli said it is imperative that due attention is given to fielding.
"You certainly expect a young bunch of guys who are very fit and very, very good fielders to do the job for you in the field collectively and not just focus on batting or bowling. It's about taking all three skills seriously and committing to it like bowling or batting. Things can be taken for granted. That's something that we want to stay away from," he said. With Shaw set to make his ODI debut, it is set up for Kohli and Shreyas Iyer to take the number 3 and 4 spots. Kohli is likely to continue with three fast bowlers and Kuldeep Yadav, who bowled brilliantly in the ODIs against Australia.
It is also likely that Manish Pandey will get the nod ahead of Rishabh Pant as he along with Ravindra Jadeja add an extra edge in terms of fielding.
Similarly, New Zealand will have some re-thinking to do before finalising their playing eleven.
Tom Latham will lead the side ahead of Tim Southee who was stand-in skipper during the last two T20Is. In Williamson's absence, they will look towards Ross Taylor for batting leadership.
The Black Caps will be rejuvenated though with the inclusion of all-rounder Jimmy Neesham while Colin de Grandhomme returns to the squad as well. Ish Sodhi is only there for the first ODI and the hosts could opt for a two-spinner attack given the slower surface at Seddon Park.
Keeper-batsman Tom Blundell and lanky pacer Kyle Jamieson are the only ones who don't have an ODI cap to their name.
In the most recent game between the two sides at Seddon Park which was a T20, Kane Williamson produced a masterclass to take the Kiwis to the brink of an improbable win. However, India bounced back with Mohammed Shami.

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