New Zealand also have an enviable 10-1 win-loss record at Hagley Oval in ODIs, where teams chasing have won the last three ODIs. So, if India lose the toss for the third time in a row, they will have to score big. The question is if they have that firepower – and the mindset – in the current line-up.
Like India, New Zealand are also building up to the 2023 ODI World Cup starting with this series. They are ranked No. 1, there’s no qualification worry for them on the Super League table, and they haven’t lost an ODI series at home since early 2019, when India had won 4-1.
New Zealand WLLLW (last five completed matches, most recent first)
Sanju Samson trends on social media as soon as he is left out of the XI, or each time he hits a crisp boundary, like he did a few times in the opening game during his 36 off 38. But he was then dropped for Deepak Hooda as India desperately needed a sixth bowler. Whoever plays on Wednesday will be under the spotlight; Samson to score runs to cement his spot in the middle order and Hooda to not only score but also contain the runs with the ball, and pick up a wicket or two with his part-time offspin.
There was hardly any game time in Hamilton, and New Zealand may not feel the need to change their XI unless they want to go back to playing four quicks, like they did in the Auckland ODI.
New Zealand (probable): 1 Finn Allen, 2 Devon Conway, 3 Kane Williamson (capt), 4 Daryl Mitchell, 5 Tom Latham (wk), 6 Glenn Phillips, 7 Mitchell Santner, 8 Michael Bracewell/Adam Milne, 9 Matt Henry, 10 Tim Southee, 11 Lockie Ferguson
India (probable): 1 Shikhar Dhawan (capt), 2 Shubman Gill, 3 Shreyas Iyer, 4 Suryakumar Yadav, 5 Rishabh Pant (wk), 6 Sanju Samson/Deepak Hooda, 7 Washington Sundar, 8 Deepak Chahar, 9 Umran Malik, 10 Arshdeep Singh, 11 Yuzvendra Chahal/Kuldeep Yadav
Showers have been forecast for Wednesday and if the game is shortened, the toss will become crucial, and bowling first will be the choice again. The tickets are sold out for only the second day-night men’s ODI at Hagley Oval, where the hard pitch is expected to help the quick bowlers and batters.
Senior bowler Tim Southee is confident about the team’s preparations for the ODI World Cup next year