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3 player fights to watch between IND vs NZ 1st ODI

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With the T20Is complete and dusted off, Team India will now lock horns with hosts New Zealand in a three-game ODI series. The first match of the series will be played at Eden Park in Auckland on Thursday 24 November.

The Men in Blue have rested some big names and veteran fly-half Shikhar Dhawan will lead the team. This new-look Indian side have enjoyed some success of late, winning the ODI series against West Indies, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

However, it will certainly not be easy to compete against a strong Kiwi team in its own lair.

India have also lost each of their last four ODIs to New Zealand and will need to win key individual matches if they are to break their losing streak. On that note, let’s take a look at the three-player battles that could define the outcome of the first ODI:


#3 Shreyas Iyer vs. Lockie Ferguson

Shreyas Iyer needs to work on his short ball problem otherwise a tough season awaits him in the #IPL and of course on the international scene

#NZvIND

Shreyas Iyer needs to work on his short ball problem otherwise a tough season awaits him in the #IPL and of course on the international scene#NZvIND

With Virat Kohli rested, Shreyas Iyer is likely to be India’s No.3 in the ODI series against the Kiwis. He has been in sensational form in this format of late, even scoring a hundred in his previous ODI series against the Proteas.

However, Iyer’s weakness against the shortball was once again exposed in the T20I series. Speedster Lockie Ferguson will also want to exploit him in the ODIs. He’s already fired Iyer once and will be looking to fake play the in-form right-hander using his raw pace and a barrage of short balls.


#2 Tom Latham vs. Kuldeep Yadav

Tom Latham’s best score against India in ODIs

103* out of 102 in Mumbai 2017
79* out of 98 at Dharamshala 2016
69 out of 48 at Hamilton 2020
65 out of 52 at Kanpur 2017

October 16, 2016
Latham scored an unbeaten 79 and became the first New Zealander to bat in the ODIs

Tom Latham’s best score against India in the ODIs103* out of 102 at Mumbai 201779* out of 98 at Dharamshala 201669 out of 48 at Hamilton 202065 out of 52 at Kanpur 2017On October 16, 2016, Latham scored an unbeaten 79 and became the first Neo -Zealanders to carry his bat in ODI

Tom Latham will be back in the New Zealand squad for the ODI series which will be a huge boost for the hosts given his incredible ability to dominate spin. Latham has been a threat to the Men in Blue in the past and will be crucial for the Kiwis again in the middle overs.

His battle against Kuldeep Yadav could be interesting as he scored 90 points in the 76 balls he faced from the tweaker. However, Kuldeep also fired Latham twice.

This will certainly give both players the belief that they can dominate the other and the confrontation could be crucial in deciding the course of the match.


#1 Shikhar Dhawan vs. Tim Southee

One of the biggest clashes could involve India captain Shikhar Dhawan against veteran pacer Tim Southee.

Dhawan generally likes to take his time in ODIs and relax in his sleeves. However, lately, there have been instances where the southpaw failed to maintain a healthy strike rate and was fired cheaply.

Dhawan scored 93 runs on the 84 balls he faced from Southee in the ODIs. However, Southee also fired the alternate captain twice.

If the pacer gets some swing early on, Dhawan could be in trouble. However, the southpaw could continue to score big if he succeeds in the initial phase.

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By Peter Kavinsky

Peter Kavinsky is the Executive Editor at cablefreetv.org