Preview: New Zealand vs India – 1st ODI

India look to defend No 1 ODI ranking against New Zealand


First ODI of the five-match series between New Zealand and India


Sunday, January 19, 2014, (14:00 local | 01:00 GMT | 06:30 IST)


McLean Park, Napier, New Zealand

The Teams


Although their South African sojourn didn’t end victoriously, the experience will help the young Team India to embark on their New Zealand tour with a significant increase in confidence. The batsmen will be more certain in their plans against the seaming and bouncing ball and the fast bowlers should now have a better idea of how to utilize the favourable conditions.

While the batting group is similar to what travelled to South Africa, there are some additions on the bowling front in form of Ishwar Pandey and Varun Aaron. However, it will be interesting to see if either of them is thrust into action straight away. In Stuart Binny India have in their squad a seam bowling allrounder, a breed MS Dhoni has yearned to have at his disposal. He now will be faced with a decision of whether to play him ahead of Ravindra Jadeja. If he chooses to play both, R Ashwin might have to sit out.

New Zealand

The New Zealanders are fresh from a very decent home series against West Indies, winning the Test series, drawing the ODI series and winning the two T20Is. The fact that their last series ended with the limited overs leg, means the Kiwis will hit the ground running in Napier.

Since the hosts have retained their ODI squad for the India series, expect the Playing XI to be more or less identical to the one that took on West Indies.

Key Players


One of the most crucial factors for India’s success is how the batsmen handle the new ball from both ends. It, hence, makes the role of the opening batsmen highly critical. Since Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma had a rather quiet time in South Africa, they will need to regain their mojo. Patience is a virtue that the two openers might find pretty handy in the initial overs.

New Zealand

Ross Taylor was in blazing form in the Test series against the West Indians with a double century and two tons. He failed to get past the 50-run mark in the limited overs games that followed and will be keen to set that right.


India- New Zealand in ODIs





in India





in New Zealand





at neutral places










India – New Zealand ODIs in New Zealand





in bilateral contests





in multinational tournaments










India-New Zealand ODIs in New Zealand – Vital Stats

Highest total

India: 392/4 at Christchurch in 2009

New Zealand: 334 at Christchurch in 2009

Lowest total

India: 108 at Auckland & at Christchurch in 2009

New Zealand:
142 at Auckland in 1994

Highest individual score

India: 163* (retd hurt), Sachin Tendulkar at Christchurch in 2009

New Zealand: 115, Chris Cairns at Christchurch in 1999

Individual Hundreds

India: 5 (Virender Sehwag 3, Rahul Dravid 1, Sachin Tendulkar 1)

New Zealand: 3 (Martin Crowe, Chris Cairns & Jesse Ryder one each)

Best bowling

India: 5/33 by Anil Kumble at Wellington in 1994

New Zealand: 5/22 by Andre Adams at Queenstown in 2003


Only four players in this Indian squad have had the experience of playing an ODI in New Zealand. They are : MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma and Ishant Sharma.

MS Dhoni is one short of 300 dismissals in ODIs. He will become first Indian and only the fourth wicketkeeper in ODIs to reach this landmark.

Four out of last five result-oriented ODIs at Napier were won by sides batting second.

The Squads

India: M.S. Dhoni (Capt/wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, R. Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Amit Mishra, Ishwar Pandey, Stuart Binny, Varun Aaron.

New Zealand: Brendon McCullum (capt/wk), Corey Anderson, Martin Guptill, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Adam Milne, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi, Jesse Ryder, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson.


Team wears a settled look: Dhoni

Indian skipper feels the players who can perform in any conditions have been identified

MS Dhoni took to South Africa a very young team that lacked the experience of playing overseas Tests. However, the way his troops took responsibility and performed against the No. 1 team in the world, has given the Indian captain a lot more confidence ahead of their tour to New Zealand.

"The good thing is that though there have been quite a few changes [to the team], before we went for the last tour we got enough time in India," Dhoni said in his address to the media ahead of the team's departure for New Zealand. "Quite a few of them played few Test matches in India and we did well and were confident of their ability. Quite a few people were speculating about how the batsmen will do or how the bowlers will do [in South Africa]. Now we know we have got a set of players who will do well irrespective of where we are playing and that is a big positive.

Dhoni believes that while some players will take time to master overseas Tests, the team is going in the right direction as far as choosing the personnel is concerned. "As of now, both our [ODI and Test] squads look quite settled, which is a good thing because it's very important to back individuals. If you talk about the batsmen, not all of them have played a lot of Test matches outside the subcontinent. So they will take some time.

"But what we have seen is that almost all of them have played ODIs outside India and still they have performed really well, which gives you the confidence of saying that they have the ability to do well outside the subcontinent when it comes to dealing with pace and bounce. Yes, the red ball does slightly more and for slightly longer periods in Test matches and it's different, but if you have the talent to perform in one format, definitely you have the talent to perform in others too."

Before any tour to a western country, questions are raised over the Indian batsmen’s ability to counter pace and bounce of the wickets there. After what he saw in South Africa, Dhoni is not worried about that aspect this time.

"We have a slightly bigger challenge in the sense that if the fast bowlers bowl back of a length in India more often than not it is very difficult to leave on the bounce, but when you go outside you know you have the liberty of not only leaving on the line, but also if you judge the bounce and if the wicket has good bounce, you can leave on the bounce.

"This is something you learn over a period of time and I think the batsmen did well in South Africa, they handled good fast bowling and at the same time they were quite positive. There were quite a few things that happened in South Africa that gives us the confidence of saying that we have the talent of doing well anywhere in the world."

The Indian captain was also pleased with the growing pool of fast bowlers at his disposal. "I think there's more competition when it comes to the bowling department. One year back some of our leading fast bowlers had injuries. Back then we didn't have too many options," he said.

"But now with all of them becoming fit and being available for selection and doing well on the domestic circuit, they have enough competition amongst themselves, which is a healthy thing to have.

"There's one particular condition we have to improve on, which is on wickets that are on the drier side and just have a bit of bounce on offer and not too much of seam movement. The reason being, most of our bowlers aren't those who hit the surface. Most of them are those who swing the ball and bowl slightly up to the batsman. At times we encounter wickets that are on the drier side and you have to bang in the ball to get bounce and pace."

While the pacers are expected to play the lead role in New Zealand, Dhoni urged his spinners to be patient in unhelpful conditions. "One thing that the home team would like to do is to ensure that the wickets don't turn at all. The reason being that we don't have an allrounder. We don't play with five specialist bowlers. Over the years we have lost our part-timers who were as good as specialist bowlers.

"If the ball doesn't spin they [the opposition] can take runs off the spinner, rotate the strike and look to score over three runs an over, and that actually puts the pressure on the captain. You don't want them to score over three-and-a-half runs an over when the spinner is bowling. [Then] you're forced to bring back the fast bowlers and they end up exhausted after the first day workout.

"In that respect, Jaddu's performance was good. Also the spinners will have to accept that when they travel abroad and when they're bowling on the first-day wicket, their role is slightly different. They need to have a bit more patience and not give them runs so that you are also building pressure from one end. They get late turn from the third or fourth days and that's the time they need to go in for the kill.

"When they play more and more games outside India, they'll start accepting the fact that in their first 9-10 over spells in India they might get one-two or more wickets, [but] outside they need to be more patient in their first spell, especially if they are bowling on the first day of the Test match. It's a bit tough on them but till the time we find a seaming allrounder, they'll have to bear that."