New Zealand will look to find some critical Super League points when they host India in the first of three ODIs at Eden Park in Aukland. Lwanele Poswayo has a prediction and best bets for the first ODI of the series.
India are the hosts of next year’s World Cup meaning that they’ve already qualified automatically. Despite Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya and a few others missing for this series, they still have a quality squad, led by Shikhar Dhawan.
Tim Southee will be the key bowler for the Black Caps in Trent Boult’s absence. He has been in great form recently, taking a hat-trick in the second T20I between these two sides and also taking two wickets in two balls in the third game.
He has also taken 2+ wickets in four of his last seven home ODIs against India and I’m backing him to be New Zealand’s top bowler for this game.
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson is back after missing the third T20I due to a medical appointment. While he has struggled in the shortest format of the game in terms of strike rate, he has spent enough time in the middle, and the change in tempo that ODI cricket brings should suit him. Williamson has scored double-digit scores in his last 23 ODIs, scoring at least 30 in 14 of those.
He’s been scoring runs for New Zealand (despite the slow strike rate) and I expect him to feel more comfortable in this format. Back him to score 50+ runs at 2.50.
Shubman Gill didn’t feature in the T20I series but he has been in excellent form in this format in 2022, scoring 530 runs at an average of 75.71 and a strike rate of 107.50. He’ll be eager to perform well with the World Cup just less than 12 months away. Bet on him to score over 28.5 runs.
Pitch and Conditions
The average first innings score at Eden Park is 217, but that rises to 262 over the last eight ODIs. The straight boundaries at this venue are extremely short. In terms of economy rate, spinners (4.79) have fared slightly better than fast bowlers (5.03).
New Zealand: LLLWW (last five completed ODIs, most recent first)
The Black Caps are on a 12-game winning run at home in this format since losing to India in 2019. They’ll be the more motivated side with India’s place in next year’s World Cup already secured, so I expect them to be at their best in this game.
The visitors have won just one of their last five ODIs at this venue against New Zealand, losing three, so I’m backing New Zealand to win this one.