Indian team already created the history by winning the last game and with series in their pocket they would love to end ODI series on high note. The Indian team apart from first two twenty20 International seems to be getting better game by game and it will be no surprise if Dhoni and his company clinch the series with clean sweep.
On the other hand New Zealand will seek for consolation win in the last ODI to at least take some moral advantage before the test series. The loss here will do more damage to their confidence, their bowler already feeling the heat in the on going ODI series and another beating will do lots of harm to their self confidence.
New Zealand have a young bowling unit except Daniel Vettori and their most experienced and ICC ranked third pace bowler Kyle Mills. Kyle Mills have gone for plenty in this series giving away 202 runs in his 29 overs. However he performed much better in Hamilton with the bowl conceding less than six an over. Except these two bowlers rest of the attack looks thin for the powerful Indian batting lineup.
Indians have nothing to worry with the series already in their bag. We may witness few changes in the playing XI for fifth and final one day international. Sachin Tendulkar who misses the last ODI’s due to abdominal injury is yet to fully recover and is likely to be given rest. However Indian think tank doesn’t want too many changes because a loss here will give New Zealand much needed win before the test series and Dhoni don’t want this to be happening.
It will be very interesting to see how many sixes will be hit in the fifth ODI at EdenPark, Auckland, whose square boundaries are lot shorter than Christchurch. We have already seen in two matches where record number of sixes were blasted, one in twenty20I (24 sixes hit in a match) and during third ODI (31 sixes hit in a match).
Watch out for
B.McCullum and Jesse Ryder: In the last two one day international these two have provided entertaining knock at the top, giving New Zealand a great start on both occasions. Going by stats these two are very dangerous opening pair for New Zealanders.
Gautam Gambhir and Virendra Sehwag: An unbeaten 201 runs stand for the first wicket and what any one could expect better than this from these two. They took New Zealand attacks right from the word go and that’s why even score of 281 looks so small. In the end India win comfortably. In the absence of Sachin Tendulkar from fifth ODI we may witness another great innings from both of them and if it happens then it will be nightmare for New Zealand bowlers.
Pitch and conditions
Ground at Eden Park, Auckland is similar to the one at Christchurch and will pitch is likely to be flat wickets so we can expect another high scoring game during fifth one day international. Team winning the toss would like to bat on the wicket and put unreachable target 350 plus on the board to put the chasing team under pressure. Rain is expected on Saturday, 14th of March so we might see another rain reduced game in the series.
Stats & Trivia
New Zealand teams have played 56 ODI’s at Auckland with the loss in 29 matches and win in just 27. In last five ODI’s they have won only two matches, one against the minnows Bangladesh.
Indian team have played six ODI matches here at EdenPark, Auckland winning three and losing three.
Teams batting second have more advantage in the day/night game going by stats. Out of 13 day/night encounters team batting second able to won on eight occasions.
Sachin Tendulkar would never forget this ground. From here he has started his career as opening batsman smashing 82 runs of just 49 balls.
Sachin Tendulkar who is yet to recover from abdominal injury is likely to be given rest from fifth ODI before all important test series. Zaheer Khan and H.Singh both have played all the six games on the tour so far and they are likely to be rested from last one day international. Irfan Pathan and P.Ojha is likely to be included in the final playing eleven. Dinesh Karthik might also get a chance to play in place of Rohit Sharma.
P.McGlashan who done quite remarkably well at Hamilton with bat and with B.McCullum yet to recover fully from thumb injury will play as wicket keeper batsman. New Zealand have bought all rounder Scott Styris as cover of Ewan Thompson, who bruised his left thumb at practice. If he will not fully fit before the game then Scott Styris get game.
Likely Playing XI for both teams (Match is schedule to begin at India Time on 14th Of March)
India Squad: G.Gambhir, V.Sehwag, M.S.Dhoni (Captain & WK), Y.Singh, S.Raina, D.Karthik, Yusuf Pathan, I.Pathan, P.Kumar, P.Ojha, I.Sharma.
New Zealand Squad: Jesse Ryder, Brendon McCullum, Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Jacob Oram, P. McGlashan (WK), Scott Styris, Grant Elliott, Daniel Vettori (Captain), Kyle Mills, Iain O'Brien.