NZ look to salvage pride | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 31, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 02:03 AM, January 31, 2019

NZ look to salvage pride

Fourth ODI against India today

Having already lost the series, hosts New Zealand will play for pride in the fourth one-day international against India on Thursday even as the visitors may look to test their bench strength.

A 3-0 lead for India in a five-match series has jolted New Zealand's ICC World Cup preparations. It hasn't just been the losses that have hurt the Kane Williamson-led side, but the manner of those defeats.

On two occasions New Zealand were dismissed for sub-200 scores and in the third game at the Bay Oval, where they eventually crossed 200, India chased the total down in just 43 overs.

Batting has been the main cause of concern for the hosts. The middle-order trio of Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor and Tom Latham have got starts – Taylor went on to to score 93 in the third ODI – but it's the top and lower-middle order that haven't lived up to expectations.

For India, it will be a brief period without regular captain Virat Kohli, who has been rested from the final two ODIs as well as the Twenty20 International series to follow. Rohit Sharma will lead the side.

Kohli's departure also opens a top-order slot in the batting order, and the most suitable candidate is the young Shubman Gill, who received his maiden ODI call-up before the series, but hasn't played a game yet.

In the bowling department, India may look to rest their front-line seamers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami and give opportunities to Mohammed Siraj and Khaleel Ahmed, the two pacers on the bench who may look to push their case for the ICC World Cup later this year.

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