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New Zealand on Course for Indian Whitewash

New Zealand head into the fifth and final ODI against India facing yet another whitewash.

The fourth game of the series hinted at somewhat of a Back caps revival; however a late Yusuf Pathan onslaught ensured that the Kiwis head into the final game with not a thing to show for their tour so far

The visitors did show progress, choosing to attack in a sensible manner, however stumbled at the final hurdle yet again.

India will look at the top order collapse as a learning curve, and even savour the fact that the scenario produced a sensational display by Pathan, who has certainly bolstered his claim for a World Cup spot.

The fact remains- New Zealand have not won an ODI in four months.

One point of concern leading into this ODI will be the home team’s death bowling. The last 5 overs resulted in 63 runs- not a great return on a side in disarray.

The series is lost, but New Zealand has now reached a stage where merely a win will be looked at as an achievement.

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

India, too, will probably make one change: they will most likely give Zaheer Khan a rest and bring back Munaf Patel.

India (probable): 1 Parthiv Patel (wk), 2 Gautam Gambhir (capt), 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 Rohit Sharma, 6 Yusuf Pathan, 7 Saurabh Tiwary, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Praveen Kumar, 10 Munaf Patel, 11 Ashish Nehra.

New Zealand had dropped the talented young Kane Williamson in favour of Jamie How, and would do well to reverse that decision here. 

For New Zealand- Martin Guptill is the one to watch. He played a mature knock in the previous clash, and if he gets going here today he could well prove the master of the Black Caps fortunes.

Pathan will be the individual for a second-string India. Having woken the sleeping giant, the Kiwis will be looking to get this man back in the pavilion early here. Expect fireworks from the man who can relax knowing that he has all but sealed his World Cup place.

Looking at the present breakdown of both of these teams, the most likely threat to avert a 5-0 sweep for India appears to be the Chennai weather.

It has been unseasonably cold in Chennai with heavy rains. The weather prediction is for scattered thunderstorms, and the cricketing fans will be hoping that they are scattered enough to not disrupt play. 

Prediction: India to win a rain affected match.

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