ICC World Cup 2019: Warm-Up Match 4, India vs New Zealand, Preview – Men in Blue and Black to figure out playing combinations
The Oval will play hosts to India's first assignment in this World Cup.
Updated - May 24, 2019 9:43 pm
The time has come for Team India to step on to the field in their quest for a third World Cup title, but the first two games in England will only be preparatory. They still have some unresolved conflicts haunting the overall balance of the team, a problem which they might or might not fix in the next two games but that will be their main focus.
Kohli and Shastri tried Ambati Rayudu at the number 4 position for a long time but when the moment arrived, they and the selectors lost faith in him, which saw Vijay Shankar come and KL Rahul come into the 15-man squad. They have plenty of options in Vijay Shankar, KL Rahul, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik who could potentially appear in that position and these two games could give us a brief narrative about that.
Some of the main players in the Blackcaps setup have not been in great form, which might have an impact on their initial few games. Well, playing the World Cup in itself is a great motivation and surely each one of those 15 members wishes to make New Zealand proud.
Rohit Sharma might have to open the innings with a new partner as Shikhar Dhawan was hit on the head during the nets. There is no official word but if he has a concussion, he will rest. In that case, KL Rahul, the back-up opener walks out first. Kohli coming in at three, no surprises expected there. Vijay Shankar expected to bat at 4, was also hit on the hand while batting in the nets and remains uncertain.
In that case, MS Dhoni could walk in at 4 and Kedar Jadhav will bat at number 5 with Dinesh Karthik following him. Hardik Pandya will be a very crucial member for the side in both departments. All the Indian bowlers will be keen to get some good practice on these lifeless tracks, just to prepare for the hammering that might be on cards when the tournament starts.
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Squad: Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni (wk), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami.
Martin Guptill played just three matches in the IPL but looked in decent touch. Some of their batsmen like Ross Taylor, Colin Munro and Tom Latham need to get runs after their name just garner back the confidence levels. Latham will not play this match since he also has a finger injury to address. Kane Williamson will bat at his favoured number three position. Tim Southee got hammered in the IPL and he needs to forget all of it to start fresh. Ish Sodhi and Santner could be huge given there is some turn off the track.
Squad: Kane Williamson (C), Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Henry Nicholls, Colin Munro, James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Tom Blundell (wk), Tom Latham (wk), Mitchell Santner, Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson, Tim Southee, Matt Henry, Ish Sodhi.
Focus will be on
Rohit Sharma (India)
India in the last three years has been heavily dependent on its top three to get the runs. But Rohit Sharma not doing well in the IPL has raised a lot of concerns and he will be on the spotlight in both the warm-up fixtures. His last five matches in the Indian blue have not been bad, with the vice-captain registering scores of 37, 0, 14, 95, 56. He needs just one big score to get himself back on track.
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Colin Munro (New Zealand)
On his day, Colin Munro is perhaps the most destructive opener in the world. His opening alliance with Martin Guptill has proven to be more than decent for the Kiwis, but he didn’t get a lot of matches in the IPL, affecting his rhythm a little bit. Munro will relish batting on these tracks and although the Indian bowlers are bowling well, some moments of complacency and this lad will take the game away.
Head to Head
Total Matches Played – 106 | India won – 55 | New Zealand won – 45 | No Result – 5 | Tied – 1
341 – MS Dhoni is the senior most player in this World Cup with 341 ODIs to his name. Gayle is second with 288 ODIs
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