After annihilating New Zealand in the second ODI, India will now want to whitewash the Black Caps when they face the Tom Latham-led side on January 24 at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore.
Following Shubman Gill’s batting brilliance in the first ODI, the bowlers stepped up and annihilated the Kiwi hitters in the second encounter. Veteran bowler Mohammed Shami wrecked havoc with the new ball, while all-rounder Hardik Pandya returned to form with two wickets and just 16 runs conceded in six overs.
He had given up 70 runs in seven overs in the opening match of the series and had been pallid throughout. As a result, his return to form will be a huge boost to the squad.
There is space for improvement for hitters. Ishan Kishan has yet to establish himself as the number four batsman, while Suryakumar Yadav has yet to distinguish himself in the 50-overs format. As a result, even if the match has little significance, it will be crucial for these players.
Will the playing lineup, on the other hand, be altered? There may be, considering India has already won the series. So, without further ado, let’s have a look at the likely Men in Blue lineup for the third ODI.
Shubman Gill and Rohit Sharma open the innings
Indian openers Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill are currently playing fantastic cricket. The captain, on the other hand, is unable to make his starts count. Even in the previous encounter, Rohit made a half-century but was caught by Henry Shipley straight after. The 35-year-inability old’s to convert his starts is a huge issue right now, with the ODI World Cup only a few months away.
In the first ODI of the series, Gill hit a brilliant double century in Hyderabad. If he can continue to bat with the same intensity, the 23-year-old may secure his place as an opener in the ODI World Cup. However, he must still demonstrate a great deal and be consistent in order to achieve so.
Virat Kohli, Ishan Kishan (WK), Suryakumar Yadav, Rajat Patidar form the middle order
Virat Kohli’s recent performances in the ODI series against New Zealand have left fans wanting more, as he has yet to reach his full potential in the current series. Despite his strong performance in the Sri Lanka series, Kohli has yet to make a major impact in the ongoing series against the Kiwis. Fans hope that he will make a comeback in the final match of the series in Indore.
With designated keeper-batter KL Rahul out of the series, Ishan Kishan is expected to been given the opportunity to prove himself in the New Zealand series. However, the 24-year-old has struggled to make an impact since being moved to bat at number four. He will need to improve his performance to secure his place in the World Cup squad.
Suryakumar Yadav, known for his flamboyant style of batting, has yet to make a significant impact in the ODI format. In 19 matches, he has scored 419 runs at a strike rate of 101.69 and will need to improve to secure a spot in India’s World Cup squad.
To manage his workload, Hardik Pandya may be given a rest in the upcoming match, giving debutant Rajat Patidar the chance to prove himself. Patidar has a strong track record, having scored 1648 runs in 51 List A games at a strike rate of 97.45.
Washington Sundar comes in as the sole all-rounder
Washington Sundar would be an important part of the playing XI if Hardik Pandya does not participate. In the last game, the all-rounder bowled just three overs but picked up two wickets while allowing only seven runs. His hitting needs to be tried, and most importantly, his fielding has to improve.
Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj, Umran Malik, Kuldeep Yadav form the bowling attack
With Hardik Pandya taking a break, Shardul Thakur will have an even greater role to play in the third ODI against New Zealand. The 31-year-old’s all-round abilities will be vital, as he can not only bowl in the middle overs but also contribute with the bat. In the previous match, Thakur took the crucial wicket of Tom Latham and gave away just 26 runs in his six overs.
The star of the series so far has been Mohammed Siraj, who leads the wicket-takers list and will be expected to continue his impressive form in the third ODI. He has been economical and consistently taking wickets.
Umran Malik is likely to make a comeback, giving Mohammed Shami a much-needed break before the upcoming Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Kuldeep Yadav is expected to continue despite Yuzvendra Chahal being ready to play, as the 28-year-old left-arm wrist spinner has already taken three wickets in the first two matches.