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India vs. New Zealand- 1st ODI Preview and Predictions

India takes on New Zealand in the first of five ODI’s tomorrow morning.

This series will be interesting as it will be the last opportunity for these two teams to acclimatise to sub continent one-day conditions before next year’s World Cup.

With that said, there are a number of high profile Indian names, including coach Gary Kirsten, that have already departed to South Africa to prepare for the upcoming test series.

The Black Caps fought bravely in the Test series but India's class told in the end.  The series now shifts to the one day format, and one that the Kiwis will certainly feel they might have a shot at competing in.

India's stand-in captain, Gautam Gambhir, will be looking for some runs in this series, after coming off a very ordinary test series. Also be prepared for Suresh Raina and Yusuf Pathan to head out looking to impress prior to the impending world cup squad being chosen.

An interesting point to realise leading into today’s match is that there are no floodlights at the Nehru Stadium. This will certainly make bowling first a must, as lingering fog and dew will excite both team’s seamers and result in a tough opening session for the batsmen.

In 13 ODI’s at this venue, a score of 250 has been passed only twice. It's also worth noting that thunderstorms are forecast, with their being a very real possibility that we may not see a full 50 over game.

New Zealand (probable): 1 Jamie How, 2 Brendon McCullum, 3 Martin Guptill, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Scott Styris, 6 Kane Williamson, 7 Daniel Vettori (capt), 8 James Franklin/Nathan McCullum, 9 Kyle Mills, 10 Tim Southee, 11 Daryl Tuffey/Andy McKay

India (probable): 1 M Vijay, 2 Gautam Gambhir (capt), 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 Suresh Raina, 6 Yusuf Pathan 7 Saurabh Tiwary, 8 Wriddiman Saha (wk), 9 R Ashwin, 10 Vinay Kumar/Munaf Patel, 11 Ashish Nehra.

The normal trend in cricket is for teams to sport a settled side in Test matches and experiment with younger players in the ODI team; however with New Zealand we have seen the opposite.

We will be seeing  an influx of the ‘old guard’, with six of the seven replacements, including the likes of Scott Styris, Daryl Tuffey, and Kyle Mills, in their 30’s.

New Zealand come off a rather unimpressive form guide leading into this match, losing all five of their last ODI’s in a shock white-wash to minnows Bangladesh.

Ross Taylor is the man to watch if placing a bet on the New Zealand batting card.

He had a pretty average Test series, however has the ability to turn it around quickly, and will be the key player in the middle-order with the absence of the injured Jesse Ryder.

For India, their line-up is packed with talented batsmen, with Yuvraj Singh standing out. Singh has scored two half-centuries in three innings on this ground so far, and coupled with his good domestic form, he is a good pick to top score.

Regardless of India’s fielding of a ‘second XI’, the hosts should take this one comfortably today.

Their ability outstrips a Kiwi side made up of part timers and has-beens, and with a home world cup only months away, the youngsters will be looking to impress.

Prediction: India to win

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