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India will look to carry winning momentum into ODIs

Last updated on: October 15, 2016 15:07 IST

India's One-day skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni speaks to teammates at a practice session in Dharamsala on Saturday

IMAGE: India's One-day skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni speaks to teammates at a practice session in Dharamsala on Saturday. Photograph: BCCI/Twitter

Brimming with confidence after a clean-sweep in the Test series, India will look to carry on their dominance over New Zealand when the two teams lock horns in the first cricket One-day International of the five-match series, in Dharamsala on Sunday.

The talismanic Mahendra Singh Dhoni will take over the mantle of captaincy from Test skipper Virat Kohli in the limited overs format and with Kohli delivering in the Test series by taking the team to the top of the Test rankings, the pressure will be on Dhoni, if India are to rise in the ICC ODI rankings.

India can displace the Kiwis from the 3rd spot if they win the series 4-1 or better.

New Zealand are currently ranked third with 113 points, while India are at fourth with 110.

While inspirational Dhoni has returned to the scheme of things, the Indian team will be without three of its key players -- Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami -- all of whom have been rested keeping the gruelling season in mind.

The man who Dhoni will miss dearly in the ODIs is in-form Ashwin.

The off-spinner finished with 27 wickets in the 3-0 Test sweep, and now has 220 wickets, the most by any bowler after 39 Tests.

India's Virat Kohli and Dhawal Kulkarni with teammates at a practice session on Saturday

IMAGE: India's Virat Kohli and Dhawal Kulkarni with teammates at a practice session on Saturday. Photograph: Shirish Shete/PTI

Off-spinner Jayant Yadav, left-arm spinner Axar Patel and Dhawal Kulkarni will get a chance to prove their mettle before the national selectors in the absence of the three rested players.

Hardik Pandya also made a comeback after being dropped for the tour of Zimbabwe and the twin T20s against West Indies in the United States back in August.

Medium pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who is nursing a back strain, has also been left out of the squad along with veteran Ishant Sharma, who missed the entire Test series after being laid low by Chikungunya.

Kohli will be high on confidence after hitting a career best 211 against New Zealand in the final Test in Indore and will stand India in good stead.

Dhoni's last significant ODI innings was an unbeaten 92 against South Africa in October 2015, and the skipper would want to silence his critics with a strong performance in this series.

But the loss of veteran Suresh Raina, who is down with viral fever and opener Shikhar Dhawan, who has a broken thumb has somewhat weakened India's batting line-up.

New Zealand huddle up before their training session in Dharamsala on Saturday

IMAGE: New Zealand huddle up before their training session in Dharamsala on Saturday. Photograph: Black Caps/Twitter

On the other hand, New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson has a massive task of rallying his team following their Test series loss.

The Black Caps will be strengthened by the return of their most successful bowler and most destructive batsman in Tim Southee and Corey Anderson.

Southee, who has 135 one-day wickets, missed the recent three-match Test series with an ankle injury and has not played a single ODI this year, while Anderson, who has the highest strike of any New Zealand player in ODI history, returns from an ankle injury to bolster the batting.

Southee, along with Trent Boult -- the top-ranked ODI bowler -- is bound to trouble any batting line-up.

New Zealand will look up to Martin Guptil and Ross Taylor to regain form and come good if the visitors are to match India in the ODIs.

The Black Caps will experience familiar conditions in the chilly climes of Dharamsala and the toss is expected to play a vital role in deciding the outcome of the match, as dew will be a major factor once night falls.

Teams (from):

India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Captain and wicketkeeper), Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Rohit Sharma, Manish Pandey, Jayant Yadav, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Kedar Jhadav, Mandeep Singh, Amit Mishra, Dhawal Kulkarni, Umesh Yadav, Hardik Pandya.

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (Captain), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Doug Bracewell, Anton Devcich, Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Matt Henry, James Neesham, Luke Ronchi (wicketkeeper), Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Ross Taylor, BJ Watling, Tim Southee.

Match starts: 12:30pm.

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