India vs New Zealand ODI series: Key player battles
After annihilating Sri Lanka 3-0, India are gearing up to host New Zealand in their next ODI assignment. The three-match series gets underway on January 18. While India are coming off a thumping win over SL, NZ recorded a 2-1 win on Pakistan soil in their previous ODI assignment. Here we look at the player battles which can be on display in the series.
Shubman Gill vs Lockie Ferguson
Young opener Shubman Gill, who has been sensational in ODIs, smashed a match-winning ton in the third and final ODI versus SL. He would be raring to torment the NZ bowlers as well. However, tackling Lockie Ferguson's thunderbolts won't be a cakewalk for him. The speedster owns 84 wickets in 50 ODIs and the same speaks volumes of his wicket-taking abilities.
Virat Kohli vs Ish Sodhi
Having smashed three tons in his last four ODI outings, Virat Kohli would be high on confidence. However, in Ish Sodhi, the Kiwis have a bowler who has troubled the Indian talisman in the past. The leg-spinner has dismissed Kohli six times in 15 international outings. The former Indian skipper has a strike rate of 113.57 in this battle.
Devon Conway vs Mohammed Siraj
Devon Conway embraced the Asian conditions against Pakistan, scoring 153 runs in three ODIs. The opener would back himself to shine against India as well. However, in the powerplay overs, Conway would need to deal with Mohammed Siraj. The latter has been on a roll in the format, particularly with the new ball. 23 of his 33 ODI wickets have come in the powerplay.
Tom Latham vs Mohammed Shami
Tom Latham, NZ's stand-in skipper for the series, has enjoyed playing against India. The southpaw owns 846 ODI runs against the Men in Blue at 65.07. Experienced pacer Mohammed Shami can trouble him in the series. Notably, the right-arm fast bowler has dismissed Latham thrice in 14 international meetings. The Kiwi star has a strike rate of 42.35 versus Shami at the international level.
Hardik Pandya vs Mitchell Santner
Vice-captain of India's white-ball teams, Hardik Pandya has emerged as a prolific finisher in recent years. The Kiwi team must be aware of the same. As he particularly likes to attack spinners, Mitchell Santner can be his target. Though Pandya strikes at 114.03 against left-arm spinners in ODIs, he has fallen prey to them five times in 13 innings.