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India vs New Zealand: Virat Kohli’s charged-up men seek to bury the ghost of 2014

first_imgIndia failed to win a single ODI on their last tour of New Zealand in 2014. But plenty has changed over the last five years. Virat Kohli is now captain and easily the best player in the world. In Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami, India have a potent new ball attack. Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav are crafty operators while the opening combination of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma strikes fear in the heart of the opposition.India lost the 5-match ODI series in 2014 4-0. One game was tied and by the end of the series, India were made to look pretty ordinary. But Kane Williamson knows he won’t expect the same India to turn up at McLean Park in the series opener.In 2014, India were looking to build momentum overseas despite the Champions Trophy triumph in England just a few months earlier. This Indian team has ticked off several firsts – a bilateral ODI series victory in South Africa followed by another in Australia. Even without Jasprit Bumrah, India look strong and dangerous in New Zealand. Fair to say, the five-match ODI series which gets underway in Napier on Wednesday.India had the same top three back in 2014. Dhawan, Rohit and Kohli. They had the same new-ball bowlers – Shami and Bhuvneshwar. But they all lacked the consistency they have today. Rohit and Kohli are ODI giants and are capable of scoring in any conditions.To make things sweeter for India, MS Dhoni is back in form. He had a horrid 2018 when he made only 275 runs from 20 ODIs. In 2019, Dhoni has three fifties from 3 ODIs. In Australia, he was named man-of-the-series for his 193 runs.advertisementIndia struggled a bit to get their balance right in the absence of Hardik Pandya but in the series decider against Australia, Kedar Jadhav and Vijay Shankar seemed to offer a solution to the all-rounder’s problem.Riding high on confidence from the Australia tour, India know New Zealand at home would be far from easy.New Zealand have been virtually invincble at home. They recently blanked Sri Lanka 3-0 in an ODI series on the back of Ross Taylor’s incredible form.Unlike Australia, New Zealand are a well-settled team. Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls and Jimmy Neesham make for a dangerous batting line-up. Tim Southee and Trent Boult are dangerous bowlers and in their own conditions, both men can cause a lot of damage.Napier will offer batting friendly conditions and it could really come down to the guile of the bowlers as batsmen come out all guns blazing. Led by contrasting characters, India and New Zealand promise some riveting cricket over the next fortnight. Not much seperates the two teams in the ICC ODI rankings – India are second and New Zealand are not far behind at third.Big guns, big hitters, classy batsmen, smart pacers – India vs New Zealand promises to be a blockbuster!Also Read | New Zealand focused on how to best combat Virat Kohli, says Kane WilliamsonAlso Read | Flexible with ideas but focus on winning, says Virat KohliAlso Read | Shubman Gill looks to Virat Kohli for inspiration in New ZealandAlso Read | MS Dhoni eyes Sachin Tendulkar’s record in New Zealand after hitting form in AustraliaAlso Read | Virat Kohli not New Zealand’s only concern: Ross Taylor wary of Rohit and Dhawanlast_img read more

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