India vs New Zealand ODI Series 2019 Preview: Top 4 Issues That Virat Kohli-Led Indian Team Should Address Against Kiwis Ahead of ICC Cricket World Cup
File Image | Virat Kohli | Indian Cricket Team | (Photo Credits: Getty Images)

After a 2-1 triumph in the 3-match ODI series against Australia Down Under, India would be touring New Zealand for a 5-match ODI series. The ODI series will be a perfect opportunity for both India and New Zealand, to test their bench strength and try different team combinations ahead of the fast-approaching ICC Cricket World Cup 2019.

The series will ask a lot of questions to both the units, and how well they respond to these critical situations, will define how they shape up ahead of the mega tournament starting in May, later this year. India vs New Zealand 2019: 5 Records & Stats You Need to Know Ahead of the IND vs NZ ODI Series.

As India vs New Zealand ODI Series 2019 is set to begin in a few days, we take you through a list of talking points that will pose a challenge to the Men in Blue against the Black Caps.

The Third Opener?

The Indian team is heavily reliant on the opening pair of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan at the moment. With KL Rahul out of the picture currently, it will be interesting to see if the youngster, Shubman Gill, is thrown into the mix or not. Shubman Gill Added to Indian Squad New Zealand Tour: ‘I Was Shocked for First 15–20 Seconds’, Says 19-Year-Old Cricketer.

File Images | Rohit Sharma | Shikhar Dhawan | Shubman Gill | (Photo Credits: Twitter @BCCI | IANS)

Prithvi Shaw, last year, made a memorable debut against West Indies, and showed promise during the tour match against CA XI in Australia. Will his former teammate and the Player of the U-19 ICC World Cup get a chance ahead of the all-crucial World Cup?

Inconsistent Middle Order!

In India’s historic victory in Australia, much of the burden was towed by ‘vintage’ MS Dhoni. The former Indian captain scored three half-centuries – though not as fluent as he did in the past years – in the series and signalled that there wasn’t need to press any panic button.

File Images | MS Dhoni Kedar Jadhav | Dinesh Karthik | (Photo Credits: Getty Images)

However, with Kedar Jadhav battling injuries now and then; Dinesh Karthik being in the XI inconsistently; MS Dhoni blowing hot-and-cold, it will be exciting to see how does the Indian think-tank carves out a match-winning middle order!

The No. 7 Spot!

The only reason that can give enough sleepless nights to the Indian team is the number 7 spot in the line-up. Much of India’s late surge late in the innings and the role of the fifth bowler will depend on the number 7 slot in the team.

File Image | Vijay Shankar | Hardik Pandya | Ravindra Jadeja | (Photo Credits: Getty Images)

Will it be Ravindra Jadeja, the returning Hardik Pandya, or the newbie Vijay Shankar? With Pandya out of the picture currently, the Indian team would be looking forward to giving Vijay Shankar as much field time as they can, given how favourable the conditions are!

The Curious Case of the Third Bowler?

It is evident that Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be leading India’s pace attack in the World Cup 2019. However, Mohammed Shami, Khaleel Ahmed, Mohammed Siraj, Umesh Yadav, Siddharth Kaul, and Shardul Thakur also in the scheme of things.

File Images | Mohammed Shami | Khaleel Ahmed | Mohammed Siraj | (Photo Credits: Getty Images)

Which fast bowlers will make into the final World Cup squad is for the management to tell. For now, with Shami, Khaleel, and Siraj in the team for the New Zealand tour, the trio will be looking to wrest any opportunity thrown their way in the upcoming ODI series. Read Full Schedule of India vs New Zealand ODI Series 2019 Schedule.

How many of the above questions are the Indian team able to answer in the series will be an exciting watch for the fans. The first ODI match of the series will be played at the Mclean Park in Napier, on January 23, i.e. Wednesday. Stay tuned with LatestLY for all the latest updates about India vs New Zealand ODI Series 2019!