India’s vulnerability in the middle order once against exposed in the fourth ODI following a massive 8-wicket defeat against the Blackcaps on Thursday. A Pitch ideally suited for pacers, Trent Boult ripped through Indian batting line up as Indian were bundled out for just 92 runs in the fourth ODI.
With skipper not being there in the side and both Rohit and Shikhar departing early, once again the middle-order was put to test only to leave us disappointed in the end. With World Cup just a few months away, it was perhaps an ideal chance for players like Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Kartik and Kedar Jadhav to stood up and become a hero for the side.
However, New Zealand bowlers, particularly Boult and de Grandhomme, never allowed the Indians to build a partnership, eventually winning the match by eight wickets. While India have already won the series 3-1, New Zealand is expected to come all guns blazing once again in the last ODI in order to make it 3-2.
In terms of team combination for the final ODI, Dinesh Kartik would understandably lose his place in favour of MS Dhoni who will hopefully return to the team after missing out on two matches owing to his hamstring injury. Young star Shubhman Gill will hopefully get another chance to prove his prowess with the bat.
India’s predicted XI: Rohit Sharma ©, Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Khaleel Ahmed.