Kotla ODI : India in festive mood, New Zealand in recovery mode

New Delhi, Oct 20: In a normal Indian season, this ODI would have been played on Wednesday and not Thursday, but it has been postponed to accommodate the festival of Karva Chauth. This is festival season in India; the Kolkata Test was advanced to avoid a clash with Durga Puja and Diwali, one of the biggest pan-Indian festivals, takes place during the ODI series.

For India, the festivities seem to have extended to the field – they have beaten New Zealand in all four matches of the tour, the Dharamsala ODI being the latest. But it is easier to recover from a loss in ODIs than it is in Tests, even a comprehensive one.

One defeat doesn’t make New Zealand, the World Cup runners-up, an ordinary team, nor will one win make India’s ODI issues go away but there are enough trends to bother one and please the other. Martin Guptill and Ross Taylor haven’t joined the festivities, whereas Virat Kohli’s unbeaten fifty showed he had no trouble putting aside a nine-month gap between ODIs.

Excluding Zimbabwe, New Zealand last beat an international side in March in the World T20. These are the kind of things that begin to stack up; never mind the difficult conditions they have played in or the injuries. India will want to stretch that streak to leave New Zealand needing to win every game to win this series.

Team news
Suresh Raina has been ruled out of the second ODI too with viral fever, which should mean another chance for Kedar Jadhav. Hardik Pandya, after three wickets and the Man-of-the-Match award on debut, should get another go with the new ball.

India (probable): 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 Ajinkya Rahane, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Manish Pandey, 5 MS Dhoni (capt. & wk), 6 Kedar Jadhav, 7 Hardik Pandya, 8 Axar Patel, 9 Amit Mishra, 10 Jasprit Bumrah, 11 Umesh Yadav

After resting for the first ODI, Matt Henry is ready to return to the XI. If it is a normal ODI pitch, Ish Sodhi should be the one making way for him.

New Zealand (probable): 1 Tom Latham, 2 Martin Guptill, 3 Kane Williamson (capt.), 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Corey Anderson, 6 Luke Ronchi (wk), 7 James Neesham, 8 Mitchell Santner, 9 Doug Bracewell, 10 Tim Southee, 11 Matt Henry

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