India, after beating New Zealand 5-0 in the shortest format, will look to carry on the momentum in the three-match One-day International (ODI) series, which begins on February 5, but this time without the considerable presence of Rohit Sharma, who limped out of the 5th and final T20 International between the two teams on Sunday with a calf injury. It consequently seized him out of the ODI series.
However, a dominant India would still be favorites, even as the hosts would be aiming to start afresh and improve their performance and return to winning ways. However, the hosts’ bid to bounce back from the T20I series drubbing suffered a big blow with skipper Kane Williamson ruled out of the opening two matches.
Team physio Vijay Vallabh said Williamson was struggling to shrug off a shoulder injury that kept him out of the final two T20 fixtures.
He said Williamson would definitely miss the opening two ODIs but hoped to return for the third and final match of the series in Mount Maunganui next week.
he said Kane has had an X-ray scan which cleared him of anything serious, but it’s best for his recovery that he avoids aggravating the joint for the next few days.
Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja who didn’t play in the last two T20Is against New Zealand will most likely return to the playing XI.
Also, it will be interesting to see who among Yuzvendra Chahal or Kuldeep Yadav will be India’s first-choice leg-spinner in the format.
In the last ODI series against Australia, Kuldeep played all three games with Chahal warming the bench, while Chahal featured in all five matches of the just-concluded T20I series.
India will acquire a lot of determination from their last tour when they beat New Zealand 4-1 in the ODI series just before the World Cup 2019.
New Zealand captain Williamson will be seeming to improve things this season throughout and stimulate the strong Indian side.
However, just before the ODI series the hosts were handed a huge blow as their fast-bowling trio of Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson and Matt Henry were all ruled out from all three fixtures.
Boult, Ferguson, and Henry all sustained injuries and have not been capable to improve on-time which has bequeathed them with limited opportunities.
Boult is out due to broken hand, while Ferguson and Henry are out with calf strain and broken thumb respectively.
This will be New Zealand’s first ODI match since the World Cup 2019 final where they lost to England on boundary count rule.