After taking an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match ODI series, India could be looking at making some changes to their playing eleven for the third and final game as they seek a 3-0 finish against New Zealand at Holkar Stadium on Tuesday.
After a 3-0 series victory over Sri Lanka, India wouldn’t want to let their guard down in a dead rubber and inflict a series sweep over a New Zealand missing stalwarts like Kane Williamson and Tim Southee.
New Zealand, on the other hand, will have pride to play for in Indore and a win would do their confidence a world of good ahead of the three T20Is against India, where Mitchell Santner will be captaining them.
India could make some changes in the bowling department to manage the bowlers’ workload in an ODI World Cup year. Fast bowlers Mohammed Shami and Mohammed Siraj, the heroes’ of a comprehensive eight-wicket Indian victory in Raipur, could be given a break in Indore.
Both Shami and Siraj will be playing vital roles in the four Tests against Australia for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy from February 9. That gives tearaway pacer Umran Malik a chance to be given a game, so as leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal.
In the batting, Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma have been doing the bulk of the scoring for the hosts’. Virat Kohli will be keen to correct his record against falling to left-arm spin, while Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya and Suryakumar Yadav would be itching to get some runs under their belt. If changes do happen for the Indore ODI, then Rajat Patidar could be in line for an international debut at his home ground.
New Zealand, meanwhile, would be eager to grab a consolation win to get their first victory on the tour of India. For that to happen, the batting line-up, especially the top-order, will have to step up massively in Indore.
Their only impressive batters in the series have been Santner and Michael Bracewell, who almost took New Zealand over the line in Hyderabad and attempted to resurrect the innings in Raipur before falling in quick succession.
With the ball, there is scope for them to put up an improved show. The pitch at the Holkar Stadium is usually friendly for batting and with the smaller boundaries present, fans will be in store for a run-fest on Tuesday.
India: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan (wicketkeeper), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, KS Bharat (wicketkeeper), Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Rajat Patidar, Washington Sundar, Shahbaz Ahmed, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj and Umran Malik.
New Zealand: Finn Allen, Devon Conway, Henry Nicholls, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Latham (captain & wicketkeeper), Michael Bracewell, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson, Blair Tickner, Jacob Duffy, Doug Bracewell, Mark Chapman and Henry Shipley