India will be keen on experimenting with their squad. Kohli hinted at changes for the final game, which means those in the bench might be given a go.
India would expect its top order to fire to avoid a series whitewash when it clashes with a high-flying New Zealand in the third and final One-day International at Bay Oval on Tuesday.
The major difference between the two sides has been the top-order’s impact.
With Rohit Sharma and ShikharDhawan missing due to injuries, ViratKohli missing out on scoring big and KL Rahul batting later in the order, India’s traditional ODI strength was neutralised without New Zealand having to do any hard work. Openers Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal have shown only momentary flashes.
Rohit’s absence has been a major factor in India’s defeat in this series. The opener averaged 57.30 in ODI cricket in the past 12 months, having a major impact on Indian fortunes in this format. India’s previous ODI series loss in New Zealand was 4-1 on the 2014 tour.
ShreyasIyer, with a hundred and a half-century, has mirrored Ross Taylor’s rich form in Hamilton and Auckland.
But Iyer lacked the finishing touch as compared to Taylor’s experience. He couldn’t see India’s chase through in Auckland like the senior Kiwi batsman did in Hamilton.
India may also look to experiment a bit before the Test series. Pant has not played limited-overs’ cricket since he suffered a concussion against Australia.
If India goes as per routine plan, he is in danger of missing out entirely from playing white-ball cricket on this tour.
India will also want JaspritBumrah to be back to his best.
He went for 64 in his 10 overs in the last match, and is yet to take a wicket in this series.
That’s a rarity for a bowler of his stature. Unless Jadhav or Shivam Dube play, India will have only five bowlers in their line up, which means they have to step up.
The weather is set to be clear, and the pitch should be another good one for batting.