The fifth and final One-Day International (ODI) of India’s home series against New Zealand has become the most important match of the series. With no team managing to take the lead till the fourth match of this series, the fifth ODI will be the summit clash. India lost the fourth ODI by 19 runs to the touring party in the home city of MS Dhoni. India’s overdependence on Virat Kohli ruined their chance to win the series at Ranchi. Kohli was dismissed cheaply for 45 runs as India failed to chase down the target of 261. In this series India has given rest to a couple of important players. Spinner Ravichandran and Ravindra Jadeja are among them. Considering the grueling home series against England and Australia, Indian team management has given rest to them and poured some young players who, so far, failed to justify their selection.
Opener Rohit Sharma’s form has been a concerns while Ajinka Rahane has done well in patches. Rahane scored a half century in the last match while Rohit has scored 53 runs from four matches. With openers failing to provide a good start, the pressure has been building on No. 3 Virat Kohli and No. 4 MS Dhoni. The inexperienced middle-order is yet to learn the tricks of scoring runs in a crunch situations and that has affected India’s chance even while chasing a modest total. If India gets off to a good start from the opening duo Rohit and Rahane then the pressure on the middle order will be reduced. And that is what the Indian think tank will be expecting. Indian skipper MS Dhoni winning the toss must decide to bat first. His decision will help the youngsters who break the ice. They need just a good performance to get rid of nervousness. (Cyclone Kyant likely to play spoilsport during India vs New Zealand 5th ODI)
Meanwhile, New Zealand following their victory in the fourth ODI will be positive about their chances in the final game of the series. Opener Martin Guptill looks like is back in the groove after failing to contribute in earlier games. The right-hander scored 72 in at Ranchi and showed patience.This was not a characteristic Guptill innings, but when a player is trying hard to get back into the groove a hard fought always worth praise. Tom Latham has been the most consistent batsman for New Zealand in this series. Captain Kane Williamson is also trying his best to contribute to his team while senior batsman Ross Taylor is yet to contribute majorly. (M S Dhoni should stick to batting at No 4, feels Sourav Sourav Ganguly)
In this series bowlers of both teams have done well in comparison to the batsmen. India’s Umesh Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah and New Zealand’ Tim Southee and Trent Boult have delivered some of the terrifying spells in this series. However, Kedar Jadhav has been a surprise package with the ball.
Cyclone Kyant is hovering over the Vizag sky and it can play spoilsport during the fifth and final ODI. We hope rain stays away and we have a fitting end to this well fought series.
India’s Predicted XI: Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahne, Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni (C) (WK), Axar Patel, Kedar Yadav, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Amit Mishra, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav
New Zealand’s predicted XI: Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Kane Willaimson, Ross Taylor, James Neesham, BJ Watling, Anton Devicich, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Ish Sodhi