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New Zealand vs India, 5th ODI – India Predicted XI

Here's how India might form their XI.

Shubman Gill
Shubman Gill. (Photo Source: Twitter)

It was a horrible day at the office for Team India when they faced New Zealand in the fourth ODI. The batsmen failed terribly in countering the swinging conditions and it resulted in one of the worst batting performances in recent times. But, it was indeed a wake-up call for the team. They are likely to encounter similar conditions when they play the World Cup later this year in England.

This loss would have given them their lessons and they’ll look to come back with rejuvenated energy when they take on the Blackcaps in fifth ODI. There are just six ODIs left at this point in time on the road to the World Cup 2019 plus another two warm-up games ahead of the tournament. Hence, there isn’t much room for experimentation at this stage and the management will look to narrow down upon the options available.

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Here is the Predicted XI for Team India:

Openers (Rohit Sharma (c), Shikhar Dhawan)

Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma will continue to open the innings for India and have been the most trusted pair to do the job. The captain and the vice-captain should look to hang out in the middle for a longer time unlike in the fourth ODI. In the absence of Virat Kohli, it is essential for this duo to shoulder the additional responsibility and take some burden off the young Shubman Gill.

With 182 runs at an average of 61, Dhawan is the leading run-scorer in the series. Rohit is not far behind with 167 runs at an average of 42. Both of them have been in fairly good touch and seeing the new ball off will be the key on what is expected to be a good batting pitch at Wellington.

Middle Order (Shubman Gill, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav)

There were clearly some nerves for the 19-year-old Shubman Gill in his maiden international outing. Hence, the feet were not moving as well as they usually do. Gill will want to start afresh and possibly get a big score this time around. He will have Ambati Rayudu to follow him at number four. The 33-year-old scored 100 runs in four innings this series. Rayudu should try to bring out better performances as there is severe competition in the middle order.

MS Dhoni, who was not 100 per cent for the fourth ODI will definitely come back and replace Dinesh Karthik. Karthik has been good when he comes in towards the end and finishes things off. But when he had to build an innings, he failed on both the instances this year. Kedar Jadhav, with his bowling skills, finds an edge and thus will make it into the eleven.

All Rounders (Hardik Pandya)

Hardik Pandya has shown great intent ever since he made his comeback to the team. He had an opportunity to bat in the fourth ODI and looked to be in great touch. He was middling the ball well and scored 16 runs all of which came in boundaries. He did a good job with the ball as well and surely made this all-rounder spot his own.

Bowlers (Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Khaleel Ahmed)

To be honest, there was nothing of sorts the bowlers could really do in the last game. Defending 92 in modern-day cricket is almost impossible. Bhuvneshwar Kumar just seems to be finding his rhythm back as he picked two wickets in the last game. It’d be unfair on the management to bench Khaleel Ahmed who bowled just three overs in the fourth ODI.

Hence, Khaleel is likely to get another chance to prove his abilities. Mohammad Siraj wasn’t a part of the plans initially and was only picked as Jasprit Bumrah’s replacement. Therefore, the chances of him making it into the eleven might be less. While one would expect Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal to continue, don’t be surprised if one of them is rested to accommodate one of the all-rounders in the squad.

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