three questions India must answer in the ODI series against New Zealand

Beginning on November 25, India will play a three-match ODI series against New Zealand. These games could be crucial as the Men In Blue prepare for the 50-over World Cup in India next year.
Shikhar Dhawan has taken over as captain in the absence of Rohit Sharma. He is expected to play with Shubman Gill at the top of the lineup, along with Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer, and Suryakumar Yadav.

The quick bowling unit involves Arshdeep Singh, Deepak Chahar, and Shardul Thakur. Additionally, a lot of eyes will be trained on how Kuldeep Sen and Umran Malik fare as rookies. Kuldeep Yadav, Shahbaz Ahmed, Washington Sundar, and Yuzvendra Chahal are all capable spinners for visitors in other locations.

Throughout the course of the series, the Men in Blue will be confronted with a number of inquiries. We examine the three most pressing issues they will be trying to resolve in this section.

1. Who will play opening duties alongside Rohit Sharma?

The Men in Blue have demonstrated that Rohit remains their first-choice ODI player by retaining Dhawan as captain when Rohit is unavailable. Given that Dhawan is arguably the Indian batter with the most consistency in ICC tournaments, there is ample evidence to support that theory.

In the new past, however, there have been signs that age is beginning to make up for a lost time. He takes longer to start, does not attack the powerplay as aggressively as he should, and his centuries have also decreased in frequency. The temptation will be to stay with Dhawan for as long as possible given everything he brings to the table.

But if one of the incumbents closes that door, what do they do?
They now have to respond to that question. In his brief ODI career, Shubman Gill has demonstrated that he is an excellent fit for this format. He at present midpoints 57.9 and strikes at 102.65. Dhawan, on the other hand, has an average of 40.5 and will hit just under 75 in 2022.

In this way, there is a readymade swap for Dhawan at the highest point of the request, and there is a player eating to demonstrate his value close by full-time captain Rohit. What India wants to do is the question.

They could stick with Dhawan or change their minds and select Gill as their primary opener.
These three games, according to that point of view, could be essential, independent of the case you need to contend for.

2. Where does Suryakumar Yadav fit in India?

At this point, anything will do. He has played with dazzling touch and batted as well as anyone India has ever played with white balls. He is unquestionably best suited for Twenty20 cricket, but if given clarity, he could also be quite useful in the ODI setup.

In ODIs, he does not yet have numbers that are comparable to the best. A normal of 34 and a strike rate of 98.83 across 12 innings isn’t befitting of a player of his group. However, it should not be forgotten that Suryakumar is the only Indian batter who can have the same impact.

Suryakumar has the potential to be a middle-order dasher because of his aggressive approach when he bats. His average will never be as high as that of, say, MS Dhoni because of how he bats. However, his strike rate and capacity to exert pressure on bowlers remain unparalleled.

As a result, the Men in Blue must determine the best way to utilize him. Suryakumar won’t be expected to play that role because the top order appears to be stacked. Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul have also settled into the middle order, with Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja remaining in the batting order when healthy. As a result, they only have one position to occupy: the No. 5 spot.

Suryakumar appears ideal on paper. However, in order for him to make that slot his own, he needs to be given enough game time, support, and clarity. He has done it in T20Is, and if he does it in ODIs, India could suddenly have a middle order that everyone fears.

3. Spin of the fingers, wrists, or both?

India may not require two genuine spinners on those surfaces, so it is highly likely that there will only be one wrist spinner against New Zealand. India may be tempted to use four pacers, including Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur, to provide enough batting depth in Hardik Pandya’s absence.

This could, however, necessitate India selecting only one spinner from the quartet of Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, and Shahbaz Ahmed.

Washington and Shahbaz are better batsmen than Chahal and Kuldeep. Chahal and Kuldeep, on the other hand, are more likely to take wickets. Depending on how the pitches play, India may field three spinners, including Ravindra Jadeja, at the World Cup next year.

Therefore, even though New Zealand may only have room for one of these four spinners, India may have enough room for two genuine spinners.

At recent white-ball tournaments, Chahal has not received sufficient trust. Shahbaz and Washington remain unresolved, and despite his resurgence, Kuldeep still needs to dispel a few doubters. Over the next few days, India has three one-day internationals in very different conditions. However, the manner in which they handle each spinner may indicate their future course.

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