Here are the changes that India might be making to the starting XI against New Zealand in the 5th ODI

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India vs New Zealand 2019 | India’s Predicted XI for the fifth ODI in Wellington

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SportsCafe Desk

02/02/2019

After dominating the first three ODIs, India were left clueless in the face of Trent Boult’s fearsome swing and lost their first match on the tour. However, the Wellington ODI will give them the chance to redeem themselves and sort out the chinks in their armour before the World Cup in England.

Openers

Rohit Sharma: The stand-in Indian skipper’s ability is unquestionable, but the Hamilton ODI put out an issue wide in the open - his struggle against quality swing bowling. However, he is too good a batsman to be bogged down by that and in Wellington, he will have an opportunity to redeem himself in the final ODI.

Shikhar Dhawan: The fragility with which he batted in the fourth ODI is just the way Shikhar Dhawan plays. He doesn’t hold back when there is a flat-bed on offer and often seem out of place when a good bowler moved the ball in. Wellington will be the final opportunity to do the course correction.

Middle-order

Ambati Rayudu: He is a stunning paradox in Indian cricket and the sad thing is that he has done a little to prove himself otherwise. He struggled to counter Trent Boult like everyone, but the problem is he doesn’t believe he can. Team India will definitely give him a chance as MS Dhoni returns, but a good and confident innings can hold him in good stead.

MS Dhoni: The former Indian skipper will make a comeback to the team after sitting out for a couple of matches due to a sore hamstring, and his comeback means that Shubman Gill will have to make way. It is really unfortunate for the youngster, but Westpac ODI being the last game in overseas conditions ahead of the World Cup, it only makes sense to stay with the combination that most probably will play the tournament.

Dinesh Karthik: The Tamil Nadu skipper has been impressive as a finisher so far, but he needs to don the role of the anchor when the situation demands, example - Hamilton. The absence of Virat Kohli means he will bat No. 5 which will demand more from him - physically and mentally. 

All-rounder

Kedar Jadhav: His slingy action has befuddled many batsmen, but trusting him to deliver in every game would really be harsh on his original capability - batting. In the limited chances that he has got so far, he has delivered and moreover shown a heart to do well at the crunch situations. 

Hardik Pandya: The Talk Show saga actually worked as a blessing in disguise for Pandya as that episode made people realize the value that he brings to the table. Apart from that, he seems more focused and his rhythm was spot on from the beginning. Tomorrow will be a test for him as far as his batting is concerned.

Pacers

Bhuvneshwar Kumar: The series, without Bumrah, came as an opportunity for Bhuvneshwar to rediscover his spark as he started picking wickets and also was perfect with his lines. The swing-friendly Westpac deck will provide him more assistance to his natural skill and he will try to bank on that to put up a good performance.

Mohammed Siraj: Not because he was any good on his debut, but because Khaleel Ahmed struggled with his line and length continuously in the last game. Mohammed Shami needs a bit more rest, so it is almost certain that Siraj will make a comeback to the team after a disastrous debut.

Spinners

Kuldeep Yadav: If Dhoni is there, Kuldeep will surely perform well. Such has been his dominance that New Zealand failed to get a grip of his bowling in the first two matches. While the fear factor is there and Kiwi batters will more cautious of him, it will do Yadav a world of good if he keeps that mystery from the word go.

Yuzvendra Chahal: The Haryana leggie has been a constant in this series and will love to do well in the last game to end the series in a high. Unlike other spinners, Chahal has been more effective outside of the sub-continent which is a crucial factor considering Westpac doesn’t suit the conventional spinners.

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