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After completing a 5-0 clean sweep of the T20I series, India and New Zealand will get ready to lock horns in the ODI series which begins with the first of three ODIs in Hamilton on Wednesday. Here, we take a look at the key battles that will be instrumental in deciding the fate of the match.
Jasprit Bumrah vs Martin Guptill
Martin Guptill holds the key for New Zealand when facing the new ball of the Indian pace attack. Considering that the likes of Jasprit Bumrah will now get 10 overs instead of the four in T20Is to fully show their array of bowling talents, Guptill & co will have to be wary of getting sucked into shot patterns which would play into Bumrah’s hands. Guptill made just 100 runs across the five T20Is, and would be desperate to contribute more to his team. On the other hand, Bumrah finished with six wickets, a decent return after making his comeback in international cricket. With the Indian pacer now fully warmed up and into the groove of international cricket, this battle will be one to watch for sure.
Ish Sodhi vs KL Rahul
It seems like KL Rahul can do no wrong at the moment. He kept wickets during the T20 series instead of the recently inconsistent Rishabh Pant, and his batting returns did not suffer at the same time. In fact, he finished as the highest run-scorer in the series with 224 runs in 5 matches, and comes into the ODIs in red hot form. On the other hand, Sodhi, who will be only available for the first ODI before he goes and joins the New Zealand A side Was the star bowler in what were a disappointing series of T20Is. If Sodhi can beguile Rahul into giving his wicket away early, it will be a huge weight off the bowling attack, as the longer Rahul is set, the better he gets. This one should be interesting.
Scott Kuggeleijn vs Ravindra Jadeja
Scott Kuggeleijn has been a handy addition to the New Zealand team in the recent past, with his bowling able to contain even the most explosive batsmen towards the end of the innings, while he’s no mug with the bat as well. Jadeja and Kuggeleijn will likely go head to head in the stage of the innings where Jadeja will be looking to accelerate and Kuggeleijn will be looking to contain. This is what makes it such a fascinating encounter, where Jadeja (who also bowls in similiar circumstances) will be able to see things from a bowler’s perspective and execute his plans accordingly. If the Indian all-rounder gets set, there aren’t many bowlers who can dislodge him easily.
Colin de Grandhomme vs Virat Kohli
In the past, Indian skipper Virat Kohli has been found wanting against medium fast bowlers. With de Grandhomme in their ranks, the Kiwis could look to get Kohli early, who is excellent against pace and spin. On the other hand, Kohli would just like to stamp his authority in the ODI series, after an average T20I series by his standards where he scored 105 runs in four T20Is.
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