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CT 2017, India v New Zealand, Warm-up Preview: Defending champions India take on jittered Kiwis

Being the warm-up fixture, both teams will have the flexibility to use up all their 15 players in the game.

India v New zealand
(Photo Source: Twitter)

Team India is all set to start their preparations for the upcoming edition of the Champions Trophy. They have not featured in an ODI game since their previous assignment against England in January this year. Certainly, they would want to get their combinations right before entering into the tournament proper. Unlike most other teams who have had a fair share of ODI matches before CT 2017, Indian players will come with the experience of T20 format.

Hence, the players will have to adapt to the fifty over format and realign their gameplay in the warm-up fixture. They have only 2 warm-up fixtures to get their combinations sorted. In the first warm-up fixture, they will be up against New Zealand. The Kiwi team had looked like a very strong team about a week ago. But their most recent shock defeat against Bangladesh in their previous ODI fixture will give them a hard check.

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They are yet to come up with a complete performance and that will on their cards. The black caps will be back under the captaincy of Kane Williamson. In the Ireland tri-series, the team did not have his services and his addition will surely beef up their squad. India, on the other hand, will have their selection conundrums in the pace bowling department. The warm-up will be the ideal place to test all their 4 pacers.

Toss: New Zealand won the toss and opted to bat

Captains speak

Virat Kohli: “It’s different from IPL. I won a lot of tosses. Tosses. I have always maintained, is not in our control. The team looks balanced. People had good IPL runs. Pretty excited. For India, warm-up games are like tournament games. (This game is) not inconsequential for us; important game for us. Yuvi is down, Rohit is due to arrive today – he had some commitments back home, so those are the two guys who won’t feature at all.”

Kane Williamson: “We will bat. It’s a good test. Looks like a good track. Toss – you are going to win or lose them. The wickets will be good throughout, so important you do well what you do first. Top eight teams, this is a fickle tournament and anything can happen on the day. Ross, Latham not playing.”

Teams:

New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Luke Ronchi(w), Kane Williamson(c), Neil Broom, Corey Anderson, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Jeetan Patel, Tim Southee, Adam Milne, Trent Boult, James Neesham

India: Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli(c), MS Dhoni(w), Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Dinesh Karthik

5 Players missing today’s game: India – Yuvraj Singh and Rohit Sharma; New Zealand – Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan and Ross Taylor

Focus will be on

Kane Williamson

The Kiwi skipper will be back to the side after having missed the Ireland tri-series. Williamson is one of the key players in the New Zealand camp at the moment. The last time the Kiwis faced India in the ODI series, Williamson had failed to take his over the line in the series. It was a 3-2 series result that went against them back then. In the recent times, he has played T20 game in the IPL. It will be interesting to see how he shapes up in the 50 over format now.

MS Dhoni

Team India wicket-keeper MS Dhoni will have a lot of eyeballs glued to him. He was the captain of the team when team India had last participated in the tournament. It was under his leadership that the Indian team had won the title. Now, playing under Virat Kohli, Dhoni will have to play the supporting and guiding role to Virat Kohli. On the personal front, Dhoni needs to click with the bat as he had a quiet outing in the IPL this year.

Ravichandran Ashwin

Ace Indian spinner Ravichandran Ashwin has been a top performer for India in Test cricket. However, in the recent times, he has failed to replicate his heroics in the limited overs game. Ashwin missed out on the entire edition of the IPL due to a sports hernia. Hence, this warm-up fixture will be a return to competitive action for R Ashwin. It will be interesting to see how he fares up back in the Indian colors.

Team Combinations

Being the warm-up fixture, both teams will have the flexibility to use up all their 15 players in the game. There will be only 11 men on the field at a time but the captain can swap in and swap out players from the entire squad in the game. Hence, all bowlers are bound to get their share of bowling and the same goes for batsmen.

India

Team India has got a very balanced side going into the tournament. Some cricket pundits have already tipped India to be the favorites for the tournament. They have four premier pacers in Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, and Umesh Yadav. Also, they would want to test Hardik Pandya with the new ball in the match. In the spin department, they have the services of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja.

Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni, and Hardik will be expected to play key roles in the lower middle-order. Yuvraj Singh is likely to be batting at number 4. There has been a brief scare about Yuvraj’s fitness levels for the first game since he had missed out the practice session on Friday.

New Zealand

New Zealand have a very balanced side too. However, the dearth of experience could hurt them in the tournament. They need to see who will open the innings for them in the tournament. Luke Ronchi and Tom Latham opened in the tri-series. However, the partnerships were not as brutal as the combination had promised to be. The middle-order has been in top form though.

Neil Broom, Ross Taylor, and James Neesham have got runs under their belt in the Ireland tri-series. The addition of Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill, Corey Anderson, and Colin de Grandhomme will only strengthen the the middle order. In the bowling department, they will have the services of Mitch McClenaghan, Trent Boult, and Tim Southee back to their disposal after the trio had a successful time in the IPL.

Where to watch?

Star Sports 1 & 1 HD from 15:00 IST

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