Two months back New Zealand arrived in India with so much hope and confidence but now they are on a verge of loosing two consecutive ODI series without winning a single game. When they take on India in the fifth and final ODI at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai the talk will be whether they will be able to make it 1-4 or go down by 5-0.
India who is high on confidence at the moment with their young brigade performing exceptionally well in the absence of some of the senior players will look forward to create history. A 5-0 series whitewash would be a sweet revenge for India for the 2-5 drubbing during their visit to New Zealand in 2003. It would also be a humiliating defeat for New Zealand since the two sides played each other since 1975-76.
Having said that record of India at Chennai is not good as they have lost three out of six games they have played here and in last two games they have to face humiliating defeats at this venue. But going by form and performance of Indian players it seems unlikely on the card.
Most of the top-order Indian batsmen have been among runs in the series and in each previous four games, one Indian batsman able to score century. In first game Kohli scored century, while in next two Gambhir hit unbeaten century and in fourth game Yusuf Pathan came out all guns blazing and smashed swashbuckling century to chase down stiff target of 316 runs for victory with ease.
The little problem for India is bowling in the death overs, as we have seen in last four games whether it’s Ashish Nehra or Zaheer Khan Indians failed to restrict the opposition in the final overs, which needs to be sorted quickly since World Cup 2011 just around the corner.
Watch out for
R.Taylor: Ross Taylor will have last chance to prove himself as why he is rated one of the dangerous batsman among other New Zealand batters. So far his performance with the bat is unnoticeable so we might expect some firework from his side.
Yuvraj Singh: In three games he has scored just 78 runs with an average of 39 which is way below his standard and he will be itching to score big to confirm his World Cup selection.
Pitch and conditions
The pitch at MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai will provide help for both spinners as well as fast bowler. Because of rain since last few days Team winning the toss is likely to bowl first and try to restrict the opposition below 275.
India might tempt to rest Zaheer Khan with important South Africa Test series is just few days away so this will give chance for Munaf Patel to once again perform well.
It’s likely that New Zealand will go with unchanged XI which played in the last ODI at Bangalore.
Likely Playing XI for both teams (Match is schedule to begin at 14:30 PM India Time)
India: P.Patel (WK), Gautam Gambhir (Captain), Virat Kohli, Yusuf Pathan, Yuvraj Singh, Saurabh Tiwary, Rohit Sharma, R Ashwin, Praveen Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Munaf Patel.
New Zealand: Brendon McCullum (WK), Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Scott Styris, Jamie How, James Franklin, Daniel Vettori (Captain), Nathan McCullum, Tim Southee, Kyle Mills, Andy McKay.