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When India take on New Zealand in the first ODI at Hamilton on Wednesday, they will do so on the back of some excellent performances in the T20I series which the men in blue completed a 5-0 clean sweep of.
The pitch in Hamilton will be relatively slower than what pitches in New Zealand generally tend to be. It is the same venue where the third T20I between India and New Zealand was played, and the pitch was tangibly slower on that occasion. The spinners found grip and the batsmen did not find it easy to score on the wicket. Keeping all these factors in mind, a score of just about 250+ could prove to be a par score on this wicket.
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.
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