After concluding the Australia tour on a high, India are scheduled to tour New Zealand for five One Day Internationals and three T20 Internationals, starting on Wednesday. India drew the three-match T20I series 1-1 and won their maiden Test series in Australia in 71 years and 11 attempts before clinching their first-ever bilateral ODI series on a highly-successful tour Down Under. Ahead of another tough tour, former New Zealand cricketer Scott Styris laid down a challenge for Virat Kohli and his team. “Well done @BCCI ..entree is over time for the main course,” Styris tweeted on Friday.

Australia were playing without their prominent batsmen Steve Smith and David Warner, who are serving one-year bans for their involvement in the infamous ball-tampering scandal in South Africa in March 2018.

New Zealand, on the other hand, look daunting as ever with captain Kane Williamson in remarkable form. Besides the skipper, seasoned batsmen Ross Taylor and Martin Guptill are also riding the best form at the moment.

In the recent 3-0 routing of Sri Lanka in the three-match ODI series at home, Williamson led by example scoring 132 runs in three innings with two fifty-plus knocks.

Taylor, 34, finished as the top run-scorer in the ODI series with 281 runs, including a noteworthy 137-run knock in the third and final match in Nelson.

New Zealand opener Guptill accumulated 153 runs in the ODI series with a match-winning century in the first match in Mount Maunganui.

New Zealand have brought together their strongest possible line-up for the ODI series against India.

On the other hand, India have decided to rest their prime pacer Jasprit Bumrah and Hyderabad-based fast bowler Mohammed Siraj has been called in as his replacement.

“Keeping in mind the work load of the bowler, it was best felt to give him adequate rest ahead of the home series against Australia. Mohammed Siraj will replace Bumrah in the squad for the Australia and New Zealand tour,” the BCCI said in a statement.    

Bumrah was the joint-leading wicket-taker alongside Australian off-spinner Nathan Lyon with 21 wickets in the four-Test series Down Under.


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