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Ravichandran Ashwin
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India v New Zealand third ODI preview: Hosts set to complete series sweep

India have already wrapped up a series victory over New Zealand ahead of their third and final one-day international in Indore on Tuesday.

The first match of the series was a high-scoring thriller which was won by the hosts by 12 runs in Hyderabad, before the Black Caps' batting fell apart in Raipur - as they were dismissed for just 108 and lost by an eight-wicket margin.

That just leaves the series finale in Indore to go, with the two sides still having plenty to play for despite the series honours having already been decided.

WhatIndia v New Zealand, 3rd ODI
WhereHolkar Cricket Stadium, Indore
When08:00, Tuesday 24th January

India in good health with bat and ball

India, who are 12/5 to win the World Cup later this year, have clearly had the upper hand in the two completed ODIs in this series, with both their batters and bowlers getting the better of their New Zealand rivals.

Opener Shubman Gill, in particular, appears to now be a leading candidate for a place in the squad for the home World Cup later this year.

He enjoyed success in the previous one-day series against Sri Lanka, making scores of 70, 16 and 116, before opening up against the Black Caps with an amazing 208 in Hyderabad, made from just 149 balls.

Gill backed that up with an unbeaten 40 in the comfortable chase in Raipur, meaning his series average is currently an astonishing 248, while his overall ODI average stands at 71.37 after 20 matches.

He and Rohit Sharma have added 60 and 72 for the first wicket in the two victories over the Kiwis and their efforts mean that the India middle-order has not really been required to score heavily.

However, there is power to spare ready to strike, with Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan and Hardik Pandya all high-class performers.

With the ball, Mohammed Siraj continues to be a wicket-taker of some quality, with his 4-46 in the first ODI - which yielded a total of 684 runs - a crucial performance.

He took just one wicket as the second one-dayer saw the tourists bowled out within 35 overs, while veteran fellow seamer Mohammed Shami excelled in taking 3-18 and he is another who is making a case for featuring at the World Cup, despite having played in only 14 of India’s 44 ODIs since the start of 2020.

Black Caps have just pride left to play for

Having been swept aside in Raipur after putting up such a massive fight in the series opener, New Zealand will be hoping that their collapse in the second match of the series was something of an aberration.

Reduced to 15-5 by the 11th over in Raipur, the game was as good as over against an opponent as strong as India, who never once looked like relinquishing the control given to them by their seam attack.

However, the concern is that the Black Caps' top order fared little better in the series opener in Hyderabad, as a lower-order assault was needed to get them close to an unlikely victory.

At 131-6 the tourists were all but out of the game, before a stunning 140 from 78 balls by Michael Bracewell and 57 from Mitch Santner dragged them close to the winning line.

Opener Finn Allen made 40 in Hyderabad and that remains the highest score made by a top-six batter for New Zealand in the series to date.

With the ball no Black Cap has taken more than three scalps across the opening two matches, with recent international call-up Henry Shipley’s three wickets having come at an average of 34.33 and an economy rate of 7.35 runs an over.

Hosts perfect at Holkar Cricket Stadium

Another downbeat note for the Black Caps, who are 7/1 to win the World Cup, is the fact that India have won all five previous one-day internationals played at the Holkar Cricket Stadium in Indore.

England, West Indies, South Africa and Australia have all been sent packing at the venue and the closest margin of victory was a 22-run success over the Proteas in October 2015.

The most recent ODI played at the Holkar Cricket Stadium saw the touring Aussies beaten by five wickets in September 2017, with India chasing down 294 to win with 13 balls to spare, as Rohit, Pandya and Ajinkya Rahane all made half-centuries.

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