Xtra Time Web Desk: The wait might finally be over for Shubhman Gill as the rookie is likely to be handed over the senior India cap in the fourth ODI against New Zealand at Hamilton on Thursday. With the Men in Blue already taking an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five match series, the team management is likely to make a few changes in the squad for the inconsequential match tomorrow.
Rohit Sharma will lead the side for the remainder of the series as Virat Kohli has been rested. The Indian captain has opted to take a break to spend some time holidaying with his wife Anushka Sharma. Md Shami too is likely to be given rest for the fourth ODI. MS Dhoni is all set to make a return to the playing XI after missing out in the third ODI owing to niggle. The former Indian captain batted for almost an hour at the nets on Wednesday.
The next two ODI’s gives the Indian team management a very good chance to experiment a bit and get to know their best playing XI with the World Cup fast approaching.
The visitors will go in with the trusted opening pair of Shikhar Dhawana and Rohit Sharma. Young Shubhman Gill may get an opportunity to bat at No. 3 in place of Virat Kohli. The 19 year old cricketer from Punjab was seen having a long discussion with Head Coach Ravi Shastri during the practice today.
In form Ambati Rayudu has been consistent with the bat and that might influence the team management to keep him in the playing XI. The Hyderabadi batsman may go in at No. 5 after MS Dhoni. All rounder Hardik Pandya, who had an impressive comeback in the last ODI will retain his place at No. 7. It will be interesting though whether the team management sticks with Kedar Jadhav or Dinesh Karthik as the former can be handy with the ball since Rayudu is banned to bowl in International Cricket by ICC.
The spin twin of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzuvendra Chahal has continued to bamboozle the Kiwis in their own backyard. Their consistency earned them the nickname “Kulcha”. So, the spin department will once again be handled by the pair. The new ball will be shared by Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Khaleel Ahmed with Shami likely to be given rest.
India’s playing XI (likely)
Rohit Sharma (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (WK), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Khaleel Ahmed