India will face New Zealand in the last of the 5 match ODI series in Vizag on Saturday. Playing on the eve of Diwali, the Indian team will be hoping to win the match and clinch as series victory against the Kiwis. The last match at Indian Captain M S Dhoni’s hometown of Ranchi saw India losing to New Zealand by 19 runs. The Vizag pitch is expected to be a batting paradise with a bit of dew in the evening. Although it is reported that there happens to be a cloud cover over the region, hence the dew can possibly be ruled out, making the match more even.
Both India and new Zealand have struggled with their batting ion the series, while their bowling has been mediocre. While India’s star batsman Virat Kohli has an average of 111 in the venue, it has to be seen if he corrects his Ranchi mistake and goes on to score a big innings.
Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni will also be returning to Vizag, a place that put him on the map following his magnificent maiden century against Pakistan in 2005. Dhoni definitely has fond memories from this ground and would like to keep them that way. He is expected to bat at no 4, like he has in the last two matches and would like to make a significant contribution to India’s score. Dhoni also happens to be the most experienced batsman in this line-up and would definitely look to step up to the occasion. The captain also needs to guide the middle order through the overs and probably even finish the innings with a flourish. If India is grooming Kedar Jadhav as the next finisher, then Dhoni has to be the one to teach him to do so.
Meanwhile, the Kiwis might have won 2 games and levelled the series, they must remember that these wins have been because of India’s mistakes and not exceptional cricket by the Kiwis. Opener Martin Guptill definitely came to his own during the last match but failed to score a hundred and guide his team through the innings. Same is the story with Captain Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor as both have spent considerable time at the crease but have thrown away their wickets.
The bowling for both the team looks the same with similar fast bowlers and a couple of spinners. Jayant Yadav is to make his debut for India. Bowling has played an important part in this series, but then again, it has been mostly due to mistakes made by batsmen. It will be interesting to see how bot teams perform when they go against each other in Vizag. India wins, they keep their home record intact. New Zealand wins; well they just beat India in India!