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India vs New Zealand: 5 players to watch out for

As the five-match ODI series gets underway, here we look at the top 5 players which may decide the tie!

Last updated: 23.01.2019
India vs New Zealand ODI series | Sports Social Blog

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After playing a record-breaking series against the mighty Aussies, the Indian side next tour away from home is that of New Zealand. The tour starts on 23 January with the first of the five-match ODI series. This will be followed by 3 T20s and the tour will finally end on 10 February 2019. Due to the absence of Smith and Warner, India found it quite easy to beat Australia. But New Zealand has a number of match-winners in their ranks. So, it is going to be one hell of a competition.

India is coming on the back of a convincing test and ODI series win against Australia and also levelling the T20 series at 1-1. While New Zealand will be high on confidence after whitewashing Sri Lanka 3-0 in the ODI series. New Zealand has a good mixture of youth and experience. Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson are two of the best batsman in the world. And this series can also be viewed as a battle of supremacy between these two.

The conditions will be quite similar to that of England and both the sides will be looking to test their preparations before the World Cup. Here is the list of top 5 players to watch for in the series between India and New Zealand:


Shubman Gill:

One of the brightest prospects in the Indian side is Shubman Gill. With the recent dip in form and also the controversy regarding KL Rahul, Gill can just fill the void in his absence. A place for the opener in the World Cup side is up for grabs. So, selectors will be having a close eye on how he performs in the tournament. New Zealand has proved to be quite lucky for him. He won the ‘Man of the Tournament’ in the U19 World Cup which was held last year here only. He scored a total of 372 runs in 5 innings and thus being the second highest run-scorer of the World Cup. He was also the highest run-getter for Punjab in the Ranji Trophy. He would be looking to make the most out of whatever chances that he receives.

Kane Williamson:

It would be a crime not to mention the Kiwi skipper in this list. The 28-year old batsman has been instrumental in the New Zealand lineup for quite some time now. And he has more often than not lived up to the expectations. He might not be having the numbers of Kohli at the moment, but you could never undermine his abilities. He scored two half-centuries in the series against Sri Lanka. He holds an impressive average of just-over 70 on home soil against India. He is one of only a few batsmen that can play Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav well.

Virat Kohli:

Currently, the best batsman across all the formats of Cricket is Virat Kohli. It is a sight to behold when he is in full swing. It is actually not the batsman-Kohli but the captain-Kohli that is under scrutiny over the last few months. Words like ‘immature' and ‘irresponsible’ have been thrown at him. But he has silenced the critics after a convincing victory over Australia. Although, his records as a captain has been astounding. He has captained a total of 60 matches, winning 44 and losing 14. He has scored a total of 3665 runs at an incredible average of 85.23 which includes 17 centuries and 13 fifties. He has been the ‘Man of the Match’ on 12 different occasions in the meanwhile.

Ross Taylor:

One of the most experienced batsmen in the New Zealand team is the hard-hitting Ross Taylor. 2018 proved to be the most successful year of his career. 639 runs in 11 matches at an astonishing average of 91.28 runs. And he has started 2019 on an even better note, scoring three consecutive half-centuries against Sri Lanka. This also included his twentieth ton. He will come into the series on the back of six consecutive 50+ scores. In fact, if he scores 3 more in the series, he would equal the world-record of 9 successive 50+ scores held by Javed Miandad of Pakistan. Taylor likes to rotate strike before start launching the ball in the last few overs.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni:

Probably the best finisher in the history of the game is MS Dhoni. He was on the receiving end of extreme criticism for his batting capabilities. He answered them all on the field in the series versus Australia. He was declared ‘The Man of the Match’ for his heroics throughout the ODI tournament. The Australian series was quite a low scoring one but both India and New Zealand have some explosive set of batsmen. Can he still chase a total of 300+ runs still remains a doubt? But one thing for sure, never write him off. Don't you want to see Dhoni finishing matches in style?

Both teams will look to keep their guns loaded going into this year’s World Cup. Let's see who has the upper hand in this exciting face-off?

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