New Zealand head into the third one-day international against India in a very strong position. Having won the first two games, the Black Caps can clinch the series with two games to spare if they can muster another win.
What: New Zealand vs. India, third ODI
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
When: Wednesday, Jan. 25
Start time: 1 a.m. GMT/2 p.m. local time
Live on: Sky Sport NZ, Sky Sports 3 UK
Weather: According to Accuweather, the weather has the all-clear for the clash in Auckland. Temperatures will be mild, reaching up to 23 degrees Celsius.
New Zealand have gone from being dark horses to being real contenders in their ODI series against India. Having won two out of two, the Black Caps now have the chance to make it a series-clinching three from three, demonstrating the kind of consistency that they have lacked for some time.
The hosts have come together as a unit for this series against India with every player playing their part when it matters.
India haven't exactly been woeful, but their top order has let them down. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan haven't looked like the emphatic and all-conquering duo they have been in recent times. It's been largely up to Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni to drag the visitors out of a batting hole.
They have done so to an extent, but neither has been able to get their side over the line.
To come back from this, India will not only need to rectify their batting blips, but they also will have to do something just two teams have done before.
The hosts have their tails up and will want to prove that they have finally found a way to be consistent. They have a real chance to atone for the way they went off the boil against the West Indies in the recently concluded ODI series.
Every single player in the New Zealand team has something to play for—a place in the World Cup squad, with an eye on the World T20 as well.
Performances and results for the next eight to 10 months will all be taken into consideration when the World Cup comes around next year. With a solid mix of reliable batsmen, feisty all-rounders and hard-nosed bowlers, the Black Caps are constructing a very solid unit.
Ross Taylor has put in two steady performances for New Zealand with 55 off 82 in the first ODI and 57 off 56 in the second.
Taylor's adaptability is one of his greatest assets. He can play any game situation, and now that he looks to have found some form, a big knock from him will do wonders for his team's prospects.
India's over-reliance on two players has already been touched upon. That's why it is so important for Shikhar Dhawan to step up.
When Dhawan gets going, he is brutally destructive, but his last four innings have been ineffective.
A good effort from him at the top of the order will provide a monumental lift for his partners lower down.
Martin Guptill, Jesse Ryder, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Brendon McCullum (c), Corey Anderson, Luke Ronchi(w), Nathan McCullum, Tim Southee, Kyle Mills, Mitchell McClenaghan, James Neesham, Hamish Bennett
Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni(w/c), Ajinkya Rahane, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Stuart Binny, Ishwar Pandey, Varun Aaron, Ambati Rayudu, Amit Mishra
Squads and statistics via Cricinfo
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