NZ hand an ODI debut to Blundell and bowl; India pick Kuldeep Yadav

Toss New Zealand opt to bowl v India

Stand-in captain Tom Latham won the toss in the series opener in Hamilton, and asked India to bat first. New Zealand’s first ODI since the heart-breaking World Cup final was a rematch of their semi-final against India, but the teams hardly bore the same look.

The whole pace attack of New Zealand was out with injury as was regular captain Kane Williamson. India themselves didn’t have the services of at least three first-choice players: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya, all out with injuries. Also missing were Bhuvneshwar Kumar (injured) and Rishabh Pant (dropped).

Having accidentally chanced upon KL Rahul as a middle-order batsman and wicketkeeper when Pant was injured and the top order being packed, India now made a deliberate choice to keep him down the middle even when no opener was available. That meant ODI debuts for the Test openers Mayank Agarwal and Prithvi Shaw. Kedar Jadhav came back for the cover he provides as a spin bowler and Shardul Thakur was preferred to Navdeep Saini. Kuldeep Yadav came in for Yuzvendra Chahal in what has become a pattern: Chahal plays T20Is, Yadav ODIs.

For New Zealand, debutant Tom Blundell replaced Williamson. The three missing quick bowlers were replaced by Tim Southee, Hamish Bennett and Ish Sodhi, making theirs an attack of two fast bowlers, two spinners and two allrounders.

India 1 Mayank Agarwal, 2 Prithvi Shaw, 3 Virat Kohli (capt.), 4 Shreyas Iyer, 5 KL Rahul (wk), 6 Kedhar Jadhav, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Shardul Thakur, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Mohammed Shami, 11 Jasprit Bumrah

New Zealand 1 Martin Guptill, 2 Henry Nicholls, 3 Tom Blundell, 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Tom Latham (capt. and wk), 6 James Neesham, 7 Colin de Grandhomme, 8 Mitchell Santner, 9 Ish Sodhi, 10 Tim Southee, 11 Hamish Bennett