NZ ODI series: Chance for India to regain 2nd spot

first_imgIndia stand in with a chance to regain the second position in the ICC ODI Championship table when they take on New Zealand in the five-match series that begins in Guwahati on Sunday.Currently Sri Lanka is in the second spot with 118 points – one ahead of India but a win in the series by any margin against New Zealand will see India upstage the islanders.A 5-0 win for India will put it on 121 ratings points – seven behind Australia who currently top the table.And even if Sri Lanka register a 5-0 win over West Indies in their upcoming ODI series, they will have to sit out in the third position.But if India lose the series 0-5 to New Zealand, it would see them drop to the fifth spot.However, a 2-3 series defeat will see India drop down fourth on 114 points while New Zealand will rise to the sixth position on 101 points.It’s not just about giving opportunities to all: GambhirIndia’s stand-in captain Gautam Gambhir did not disclose the XI but gave enough indications that he would not make wholesome changes to the squad that will take on New Zealand in the opening one-dayer of the five-match series, in Guwahati on Saturday.Shorn of experience in the absence of regular skipper MS Dhoni and and senior players like Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan, Gambhir, more than experimentation, stressed on the need to win the series.”The most important thing right now is to win the game, to win the series rather than thinking about giving opportunity to all the players.advertisement”We are just about to begin the series and it’s too early to say that you need to give opportunity to all the players,” Gambhir, who has been appointed skipper for the first two ODIs, said on the eve of the match on Saturday.”It’s an international series and you are playing for your country. Rather than giving opportunity to all, it’s all about winning the series and then taking it from there.”The skipper will open the batting with Murali Vijay while the middle-order would remain the same as the one that played against Australia in Visakhapatnam last month.This means Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina are likely to form the backbone of Indian batting.Wicketkeeper Wriddhiman Saha is all set to make his one-day debut while Saurabh Tiwary, who had played in the team’s last ODI, is likely to add spark down the order.Going by the skipper’s words, all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja and pacer Munaf Patel who did not play in Visakhapatnam, might have to wait for their turns.Yusuf Pathan, who has been picked following his scintillating show in the Ranji Trophy, is likely to make the cut ahead of Sreesanth. That would mean R Vinay Kumar and Asish Nehra would have to share the new ball.Off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin, who is also decent with the bat, is likely to retain his place in the line-up.The skipper was effusive in his praise for Saha and said: “He has done well in domestic cricket playing for Bengal. It’s a good opportunity for him. We all feel that he is a very good wicketkeeper, it’s just about scoring some runs. It’s all about carrying he momentum into international cricket. He is among runs, so he will be feeling confident.”The XIV will be picked again after the second ODI in Jaipur and, according to sources, Dhoni will continue to be rested with Gambhir retaining the captaincy for the series.The only change the selectors might make for the last three ODIs would be to test Rohit Sharma ahead of the tired Raina.India (likely): Murali Vijay, Gautam Gambhir (captain), Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Yusuf Pathan, Saurabh Tiwary, Wriddiman Saha (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, R Vinay Kumar and Ashish Nehra.We would like to rectify our mistakes, says VettoriNew Zealand skipper Daniel Vettori wants to come out of their humiliating 0-4 series loss to Bangladesh by rectifying their mistakes against India in the five-match ODI series that begins with the match at Nehru Stadium.Talking to the reporters on the eve of the match, Vettori said a series win would help before they return to India again for the upcoming World Cup in February-April.”It’s important in our build up to the World Cup. I know we had a disappointing series over there (Bangladesh).”We have come here to rectify that in a lot of ways. There are some changes, some good experienced players coming back into the team.advertisement”We will see how we go. The side will miss the services of their in-form batsman Jesse Ryder who had a superb run in the recently concluded Test series but Vettori said it would help the youngsters in the side to cement their place.”Jesse Ryder will definitely come into the picture (for the World Cup) with what he has done. But he has injury now so this is a chance to have a look at others. For people looking towards World Cup, it’s about playing every game and winning them. Both teams would like to win every game to get some confidence going into the World Cup,” he said.Vettori said the toss would not be crucial in the result of the match.”The last two times the team won the toss have batted first and went on to lose the game. So it should not affect the game.”On the wicket, Vettori said, “Traditionally, it’s played pretty slow here. With such an early start, probably it will go slower and slower as the game progresses.Asked about the team composition, Vettori said: “We will have a look at the wicket in the morning because it’s such an early start.”India are fielding a second string side but Vettori said the hosts are still capable of upstaging them. Asked about the new look Indian side, Vettori said: “Few of them played in the IPL. We know most of them pretty well. They are all good players and they must be in form to be selected for India. We know how dangerous they can be. We are not underestimating the Indian team.”Asked about opener Jamie How would be looking to seal his berth before the World Cup, Vettori said, “Anyone coming back into the side means that he is in form at the domestic level.He is a quality player. We are hoping that he makes it this time around,” Vettori said.last_img

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