Kanpur: Except for the fact that Manish Pandey should be given a fair run, all the debate over number four spot in Indian ODI eleven is futile as any player should be capable of playing at any spot at international level.
Rahul Dravid, the cricketing genius, has once stated that any player who is representing the national team should be willing to play at any spot given the situation. Same goes with current Indian cricket team as well as it boasts of a sound bench strength and an experimental phase in view of the next Cricket world cup in 2019.
Yes, seemingly, Manish Pandey, who has already scored a fighting hundred against Australia, has been given a raw deal and deserved a long run but for the team management plans which failed on many occasions in the recent past.
Manish, Kedar Jhadhav, Hardik Patel or even Dhoni may fit in the position at number four like others who are waiting in the wings and part of rotation policy. There is a lot of hue and cry over number four spot which seems to be more in the media than in the team management’s scheme of things.
The third ODI against New Zealand slated to be played in Kanpur on Sunday may be a timely chance to try new batting combination but is not likely to be a decisive scenario to ascertain the batting order. The coming busy cricket calendar of Indian cricket team will provide many such opportunities and there is no need to rush into the things as despite all experimentations, the team is on the winning streak.
Coming from a six-wicket victory, India will look to defeat New Zealand in the third and final One-Day International (ODI) to clinch the series at the Green Park here on Sunday.
The series is currently level at 1-1, with the New Zealand taking lead in the initial match and the hosts levelling things in the second.
India will heavily rely on skipper Virat Kohli to lead the side from the front in the batting department along side opener Shikhar Dhawan, middle-order batsmen Dinesh Karthik and Hardik Panya who have looked in good nick throughout the series.
Batsmen Rohit Sharma, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav will only add further depth to the Indian batting.
It is worth mentioning here that Kanpur has braced itself to host its first day-night ODI.
In the bowling department, Kohli will fancy including wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav in the playing XI, who belongs from the host venue to impose threat on the opposition. Yadav was replaced by Axar Patel in the previous match.
However, pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah will spearhead the bowling attack. Spinners Yuzvendra Chahal, Patel and Yadav along side all-rounder Pandya will look to apply breaks on the Kiwis batting in the middle overs.
New Zealand who started the series on a positive note will look to bounce back and clinch the series under the likes of experienced batsmen Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor.
Middle-order batsman Tom Latham who has proved his mettle in the series will be one of the key in the visitors batting.
In bowling, the Blackcaps will hope experienced pacers Tim Southee and Trent Boult to provide their side with early breakthroughs.
Spinner Mitchell Santner will be the key to halt the flow of runs for India in the middle overs.
India: Virat Kohli (captain), Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wicket-keeper), Rohit Sharma, Dinesh Karthik, Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kedar Jadhav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Ajinkya Rahane, Manish Pandey, Kuldeep Yadav, Shardul Thakur.
New Zealand: Ross Taylor, Tim Southee, Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson (captain), Adam Milne, Colin de Grandhomme, Colin Munro, Trent Boult, Tom Latham (wicket-keeper), Mitchell Santner, Henry Nicholls, George Worker, Ish Sodhi, Matt Henry, Glenn Phillips, Tom Bruce.