IND vs NZ ODI Series 2023: India's predicted XI against New Zealand for 1st ODI

Team India recently defeated Sri Lanka 3-0 in the ODI series while New Zealand won 2-1 against Pakistan.

Indian cricket team
Indian cricket team. (Photo Source: BCCI)
Koustav Sengupta

Jr. Staff Writer

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After absolutely decimating Sri Lanka in the white-ball series, the Men in Blue are now scheduled to host New Zealand in a three-match ODI series, starting Wednesday, January 18. The Kiwis, on the other hand, defeated Pakistan (2-1) in their last series and will be hoping to repeat the same to strengthen their position at the top of the ODI Super League points table.

Unfortunately for India, their in-form batter Shreyas Iyer will miss the ODI series due to a back injury. Rajat Patidar has been named as his replacement but the cricketer is unlikely to get an opportunity in the first ODI. Nevertheless, losing Iyer, who has proved himself time and again in this format, is a massive blow to the Indian team.

Who can replace him in the playing XI and how can India line up in the first ODI at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad? 

Here’s India’s predicted XI in the 1st ODI against New Zealand

Openers – Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma (C)

The dynamic duo of Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma have done reasonably well in the Sri Lanka series. The skipper scored 83 in the first ODI and also gave a good start in the third ODI, but failed to capitalize on his start. The 35-year-old needs to convert his starts into big scores as  his is important from India’s point of view, especially with the ODI World Cup coming soon.

Coming to Gill, the youngster has been tremendous so far. Despite Ishan Kishan scoring a double-century in the third ODI against Bangladesh, the team management backed Gill and he proved that call correct. The opener scored 70 in the first ODI and a scintillating century in the final match of the series against the Lankans. If he manages to keep performing at the highest level, the 23-year-old can eventually cement his position as Rohit’s partner in the global tournament.

Middle Order - Virat Kohli, Ishan Kishan (WK), Suryakumar Yadav

Virat Kohli has returned to his absolute best, scoring three centuries in his last four ODI matches. He has been India’s best performer with the bat and the team management would want him to continue like that, especially with the World Cup around the corner. 

With KL Rahul given time off for personal reasons, Ishan Kishan is likely to get the nod ahead of KS Bharat. The 24-year-old recently became the fourth Indian player to smash a double century in the 50-over format but unfortunately got dropped as the team management preferred Gill over him. This can be a massive opportunity for him and if he manages to live up to the expectations, the cricketer can eventually challenge KL Rahul for a spot in the playing XI.

Despite being a run-away match-winner in the shortest format of the game, Suryakumar Yadav is yet to get opportunities on a consistent basis in the 50-over format. However, with Iyer missing the series due to an injury, Suryakumar will have a fantastic opportunity to prove himself and get into the squad.

All-rounders - Hardik Pandya (vc), Washington Sundar

Hardik Pandya’s form has been a bit concerning of late. The all-rounder was rested in the third ODI against Sri Lanka but is expected to make his return to the squad in the first match against the Black Caps. He provides much-needed balance in the squad but is yet to deliver as per expectations in the last few matches.

When it comes to Washington Sundar, he has done reasonably well so far. There of course is a lot of room for improvement but when it comes to his batting, the southpaw has improved significantly.

Bowlers - Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Umran Malik, Kuldeep Yadav

The pace trio of Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj and Umran Malik wreaked havoc in the series against Sri Lanka. Collectively, they picked up 17 wickets and eventually sealed the win in India’s favour. The 28-year-old Siraj picked up nine wickets and was the leading wicket-taker in the recently concluded series.

With Yuzvendra Chahal out of form at the moment, Kuldeep Yadav turned up and played some brilliant cricket in the series against the Dasun Shanaka-led side. He picked up five wickets from two matches and ended up as the third-leading wicket-taker in the ODI series. 

Probable team India squad - Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Umran Malik.

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