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India’s Star-Studded XI: Ready to Dominate New Zealand in the 2023 ODI Series Opener

After annihilating Sri Lanka in the white-ball series, the Men in Blue will welcome New Zealand in a three-match ODI series beginning Wednesday, January 18. The Kiwis, on the other hand, overcame Pakistan (2-1) in their previous series and would be looking to do so again to maintain their lead in the ODI Super League points table.

Shreyas Iyer, India’s in-form batsman, will miss the ODI series owing to a back issue. Rajat Patidar has been picked as his substitute, although he is unlikely to see action in the first ODI. Nonetheless, losing Iyer, who has repeatedly shown himself in this format, is a huge setback to the Indian squad.

Who can replace him in the playing XI, and how will India line up in the first One-Day International (ODI) at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad?

Here is India’s anticipated XI for the first One-Day International against New Zealand.


Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma open the innings


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In the Sri Lanka series, the dynamic combo of Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma performed well. The captain struck 83 in the first ODI and also got off to a fantastic start in the third ODI, but he couldn’t capitalise on it. The 35-year-old has to turn his starts into huge scores since he is crucial for India, particularly with the ODI World Cup approaching.

In terms of Gill, the kid has been outstanding so far. Despite Ishan Kishan’s double-century in the third ODI against Bangladesh, the team management went with Gill, and he proved them right. The opener struck 70 in the opening ODI and a brilliant century in the series finale against Sri Lanka. If he maintains his strong level of performance, the 23-year-old may ultimately secure his status as Rohit’s partner in the worldwide competition.


Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, and Ishan Kishan form the middle order


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Virat Kohli has back to form, recording three hundred in his past four One-Day Internationals. He has been India’s finest batsman, and the team management would want him to keep it up, particularly with the World Cup approaching.

With KL Rahul on leave for personal reasons, Ishan Kishan is set to take over for KS Bharat. The 24-year-old just became the fourth Indian player to hit a double century in 50-over cricket, but he was discarded because team management favoured Gill over him. This is a huge chance for him, and if he can live up to the expectations, the cricketer will be able to fight KL Rahul for a berth in the playing XI.

Suryakumar Yadav, despite being a runaway match winner in the shortest version of the game, is unable to garner regular chances in the 50-over format. However, with Iyer out due to injury, Suryakumar will have a good chance to show himself and earn a spot in the team.


Hardik Pandya and Washington Sundar form the all-rounder duo


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Hardik Pandya’s recent form has been troubling. The all-rounder was rested in the third ODI against Sri Lanka but is set to return to the team for the opening match against New Zealand. He adds much-needed balance to the team, but has struggled to live up to expectations in recent games.

When it comes to Washington Sundar, he has done well so far. Of course, there is still much space for growth, but the southpaw’s hitting has improved dramatically.


Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, and Umran Malik form the bowling attack


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In the series against Sri Lanka, the pace trio of Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj, and Umran Malik created havoc. They took 17 wickets in total and finally secured India’s victory. Siraj, 28, took nine wickets and was the highest wicket-taker in the just finished series.

With Yuzvendra Chahal out of form, Kuldeep Yadav stepped up and played some wonderful cricket against the Dasun Shanaka-led team. He took five wickets in two matches and finished the ODI series as the third-highest wicket-taker.