Dharamsala: MS Dhoni-led Indian cricket team is all set to take on New Zealand in the 1st ODI of the five-match series today at Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association. After an emphatic show in the traditional format, it remains to be seen whether Indian team can carry the momentum in limited-overs cricket as well.
Kane Williamson and his men would be looking forward to a much better show after a dismal performance in Tests. The Kiwis are expected to bounce back in the ODI series. The absence of R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja – the deadly combo which decimated them in Test matches, is a matter of huge relief for them.
Despite a lesser experienced bowling attack, Men in Blue have a power-packed batting line-up with all key players in the squad. The only concern could be the absence of Suresh Raina from first ODI, which he will miss due to viral fever. The left-hander was recalled into the squad after being dropped in several series this year.
In Raina's absence, Mandeep Singh could get a chance in the playing XI for the first ODI.
Here's the squad the selectors picked for the first three-matches:
MS Dhoni (capt. & wk), Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Manish Pandey, Suresh Raina, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Jayant Yadav, Amit Mishra, Jasprit Bumrah, Dhawal Kulkarni, Umesh Yadav, Mandeep Singh, Kedar Jadhav
Here's what we think India's playing XI should be for the first ODI:
Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, MS Dhoni, Mandeep Singh, Axar Patel, Amit Mishra, Jasprit Bumrah, Dhawal Kulkarni