Hamilton, New Zealand, Feb 5 (AFP/APP): New Zealand won the toss and opted to bowl against a new-look India opening partnership in the first one-day international in Hamilton on Wednesday.
The Black Caps are looking to bounce back from a 5-0 whitewash in the Twenty20 series and stand-in captain Tom Latham said his bowlers were keen to attack.
“I think history suggests that chasing is the easier option here and with a short boundary on one side hopefully later on it will be hard to defend,” he said.
Latham is replacing regular skipper Kane Williamson, who will miss at least two of the three ODIs with a shoulder injury.
Tom Blundell has been given his ODI debut in Williamson’s number three slot in the batting line-up.
India have called up one-day international newcomers Mayank Agarwal and Prithvi Shaw to open the batting.
Their promotion comes after India, already missing regular opener Shikhar Dhawan, lost his partner Rohit Sharma to a tour-ending calf injury.
Captain Virat Kohli said he would have opted to bowl had he won the toss.
“But it’s not a bad thing to bat first either,” he said. “It’s a good track and as a side it’ll be a challenge for us to keep putting those big scores on the board.”
India are second in the ODI rankings, with New Zealand third.
It is New Zealand’s first ODI since the World Cup final in July last year, which ended with scores tied after 50 overs and a super over and England winning by virtue of scoring more boundaries.
The Black Caps beat the heavily favoured Indians in the semi-final and Latham said the struggling home team hoped to repeat the feat in Hamilton.
“When things haven’t been necessarily going the way you want then you have to look back at those good times and hopefully put a good perfoamnce on the board to start this series well,” he said.
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Tom Blundell, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (capt), Colin de Grandhomme, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Hamish Bennett.
India: Mayank Agarwal, Prithvi Shaw, Virat Kohli (capt), Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah.
Umpires: Langton Rusere (ZIM), Shaun Haig (NZL)
TV Umpire: Bruce Oxenford (AUS)
Match referee: Chris Broad (ENG)