Prithvi Shaw set for ODI launch
Mumbai batsman expected to open one-day account against New Zealand at Hamilton today.
Hamilton: India have been forced to open with a brand new pair of Prithvi Shaw and Mayank Agarwal (who hadn't reached Hamilton by the time the practice session got underway on Tuesday) even though they have an option in KL Rahul. "Prithvi is in the team and will definitely start with whoever the replacement is [Agarwal], we've asked for an opener. KL will play in the middle-order. We want him to get used to that role at No. 5 and keep [wickets] as well," said Kohli, ruling out the possibility of sending Rahul up the order as he will be tired after 'keeping for 50 overs if India have to chase.
Shaw has happy memories of New Zealand, having led India to a U-19 World Cup triumph in 2018 when his side beat Australia at Mount Maunganui on February 3. Last month, he hit a hundred for India 'A' in a practice game against New Zealand XI at Lincoln.
Kohli was seen applauding Shaw's strokeplay a couple of times and also acknowledged Shardul Thakur's line and length when he bowled to him during the practice session.
Contrary to head coach Ravi Shastri's theory that this series could be used as the preparation for the T20 World Cup, the captain ruled out any such experiments. "You have to respect the format and play according to the pace of the 50-over game. We're not looking at preparing for the T20 World Cup through this series. IPL will be the right platform [for that]," said Kohli.
India skipper Virat Kohli with coach Ravi Shastri at Hamilton yesterday
While India have already played against West Indies (twice) and Australia (once) post the World Cup semi-final defeat against New Zealand, the hosts will be playing their first ODI after losing the cup in the most bizarre fashion. However, since then, the Kiwis have struggled in Tests and T20 formats; the latest being an embarrassing 0-5 loss earlier this week. Wicketkeeper-batsman Tom Latham will lead New Zealand in the absence of Kane Williamson, who is out of action for the first two ODIs.
Hardly a dozen people watched Team India's training session on Tuesday afternoon here even though the practise area is adjacent to a busy road where access is not a problem. Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal and Rahul opted to rest and were not part of the optional practice session.
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NZ v India, 1st ODI: Star Sports 1, 07:30
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