Indian team may be boosted by the returns of their run feast machine Sachin Tendulkar but it's important for Dhoni and his men to learn the lesson from the mistakes they made during two twenty20 Internationals that cost them 2-0 loss. All Indian batsman looks in prime form during twenty20 but no one apllied themselves in the middle to play big innings and guide India to reach to a commanding total.
On the other hand New Zealand will be boosted by the return of Kyle Mills and Jacob Oram in the ODI squad. Both are match winning player and New Zealand will be happy by the return of these two in the squad. New Zealand bowlers will be keen to continue their performance in ODI too against well famed Indian batting lineup.
The main worry for the Indians are their top order because both batsman got starts but didn't converted the starts into big score and that causes the loss in both twenty20. However with the return of Tendulkar, Gautam Gambhir likely to bat at number three with Yuvraj, Raina and Dhoni will hold the key for middle orders. Yusuf Pathan, Irfan Pathan and H.Singh will hold the lower batting order. No doubt India have better team than the home side but they have to somehow deal with New Zealand disciplined bowling attack with proper planning and execution.
What the loss in twenty20 has done that now Dhoni and his team have realise why previous visiting Indian team failed to perform well in New Zealand. Records are also against Indians since they had lost six out of last eight ODI's they have played in New Zealand.
Watch out for
B.McCullum: B.McCullum despite of not in his prime form, he manages to win both the games for his team with bat. As we have seen in past how destructive batsman he is when on song. By considering the nature of Napier pitch there will be no surprise if he eye big score during first one day international.
S.Tendulkar: Sachin Tendulkar who started his career as opener in New Zealand pitches scoring 82 of 49 balls, but this is too old story since then he is matured as a batsman. His last three innings in ODI is failure only because of poor umpiring decisions in Sri Lanka. He is yet to face a ball on this tour but it will be interesting too see how he played in 1st ODI.
Pitch and conditions
Pitch at McCleanPark, Napier is likely to assist the batsman and is expected that team batting first will eye score in excess of 320 runs. Any team who restrict the batting side below 300 runs will feel good chance of winning the game. However rain is expected on 3rd of March, so team winning the toss would like to have a bowl.
Stats & Trivia
Ross Taylor has scored 273 runs with an average 136.5 at McCleanPark, Napier.
New Zealand has played 29 matches at Napier and manages to won 18 ODI's with none lost and two matches has been ended as tie.
Indian team poses a poor record against the home side in New Zeland loosing sixteen out of 23 matches they have played here.
New Zealand has already announced 12 members ODI squad for first three games of the ODI series. So they don't have much headeche of choosing the playing XI out of twelve. T.Southee is likely to be sitting out for I.Butler who bowled good line and length during two twenty20 that New Zealand manages to win.
On the other hand Indian team will be boosted by the return of Sachin Tendulkar in the squad. I.Sharma is likely to miss the first one day international due to shoulder injury. His spot will be taken by either Praveen Kumar or Munaf Patel.
Likely Playing XI for both teams (Match is schedule to begin at India Time on 3rd Of March)
India Squad: Sachin Tendulkar, V.Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Y.Singh, S.Raina, M.S.Dhoni (Captain & WK), Yusuf Pathan, I.Pathan, H.singh, Z.Khan, P.Kumar.
New Zealand Squad: Jesse Ryder, Brendon McCullum (WK), Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Jacob Oram, Neil Broom, Grant Elliott, Daniel Vettori (Captain), Kyle Mills, Ian Bulter, Iain O'Brien.