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India vs New Zealand: Eye on 2023 World Cup, India to start 50-over auditions under temporary leader Shikhar Dhawan | Cricket news

AUCKLAND: The Indian cricket team has been widely criticized for its archaic approach in T20Is and is expected to break new ground in a different format when it takes on New Zealand in a three-match ODI series, marking the start of its preparations will mark for next year’s World Cup.
India endured a nightmare in New Zealand in 2020 as Virat Kohli’s side were knocked out 0-3 in one of the most lopsided series where the bowling effort was sub-par.
There are exactly 11 months left before the big event in India and the series starting on Friday will give the team a first idea about some of the mid-range slots and also the bowling arsenal in India’s arsenal.
With five seniors – skipper Rohit Sharma, talisman Virat Kohli, team management favorite KL Rahul, pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah and No. 1 ODI all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja not part of this series, management can only give a rough idea get in which direction the team would move.
All these big guns will be playing a lot of ODI cricket now, starting with the Bangladesh series, and the team combination will see a big change once they all come back in due course.
Like the dilemmas of T20Is, Indian coach Rahul Dravid will have a lot on his plate, but for now his understudy VVS Laxman has to walk a tightrope as far as this series is concerned.
Dhawan will be close to 38 in next year’s World Cup and in ODIs over the past two years he has scored close to 1000 runs. This is the only international format he plays. Since T20 took more precedence, his appearance has been quite sporadic.


PTI photo
But to put things in perspective, both Kohli and Rohit have played a third of the ODIs Dhawan played while focusing more on Tests and T20Is with World Test Championship and back-to-back T20 World Cups in line.
Meanwhile, Shubman Gill has shown his prowess as an ODI opener in a dozen games played to date with an average of 57 plus and a strike rate of 100 plus.
But even in this format, Dhawan was a tentative starter in Powerplays and then accelerated. The philosophy of the team will be the most important along with a decision on whether the Delhi southpaw will continue next year with Rohit, Rahul and Gill also there.
Rahul, in ODIs, started knocking down the order at times and Shreyas Iyer has been one of India’s consistent ODI players despite his short ball issues. Suryakumar Yadav, who is in the shape of his life, cannot be dropped from mid-table if he is fit to play.
Sanju Samson, the phenomenal talent from Kerala, can’t be ignored for a long time either with his wide range of strokes and Deepak Hooda brings his all-round skills to the table.
Coming back to the series, there are three 50-over games in the space of five days and a quick recovery period for bowlers will be paramount.
Deepak Chahar is expected to start and is likely to have seasoned Shardul Thakur for company as both lower ranks offer a decent batting option.
Arshdeep Singh is probably the third option but he plays constantly so there could be a chance to get a Kuldeep Sen or a Umran Malik. The reverse side is cut short. Chances are their pace will become a disadvantage.


Arshdeep Singh (BCCI Photo)
Washington Sundar is also likely to play in XI and due to the short size of the Eden Park ground, with its tricky corners, Dhawan may prefer an extra pacer rather than an extra spinner.
The New Zealand core for the series is more or less the same as the T20s. With swing bowler Tim Southee, speedy Adam Milne, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry and spinner Mitchell Santner in his rakes, the home side’s attack looks formidable on paper.
Add to that the all-rounders Daryl Mitchell and Jimmy Neesham, who are more than decent and can bowl the full 10 overs themselves, the attack takes on an even more menacing look.
INDIA: Shikhar Dhawan (Captain), Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Deepak Hooda, Shahbaz Ahmed, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra ChahalDeepak Chahar, Arshdeep Singh, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Sen, Umran Malik.
NEW ZEALAND: Kane Williamson (captain), Finn Allen, Devin Conway, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Glenn Phillips, Michael Bracewell, Tim Southee, Matt Henry, Adam Milne, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Lockie Ferguson.

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