1st ODI: Hardik, Shardul, Ishan come in as India win toss, elect to bat first against New Zealand

by IANS |

Hyderabad, Jan 18 (IANS) India captain Rohit Sharma has won the toss and elected to bat first against New Zealand in the ODI series opener at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium here on Wednesday.

After winning the toss, Rohit said fast-bowling all-rounders Hardik Pandya and Shardul Thakur along with left-handed wicketkeeper-batter Ishan Kishan come into the playing eleven. The trio come in place of an injured Shreyas Iyer as well as KL Rahul and Axar Patel not available due to personal reasons.

"Looks a good pitch, little dry. We want to make sure we want to bowl under lights and defend score. We did well against Sri Lanka, but this is a different challenge. Important for us to keep the momentum going. Everyone is pushing each other in the squad. The spirit in the team is really good," he added.

New Zealand skipper Tom Latham said he would have bowled first anyway. "We are missing a couple of key guys from the Pakistan series, but it's an opportunity for the other guys. We love coming to India and experiencing all that the country has to offer. Most of the squad has pretty much played a good number of games. Three seamers and two spinners," he added.

While India recently defeated Sri Lanka 3-0 in the recent home ODI series, New Zealand registered a 2-1 series victory over Pakistan in away conditions. Wednesday's ODI at Hyderabad will also mark Mohammed Siraj's first international match at his home ground.

Playing XIs

India: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Ishan Kishan (wicketkeeper), Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Siraj and Mohammed Shami

New Zealand: Finn Allen, Devon Conway, Henry Nicholls, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Latham (captain & wicketkeeper), Glenn Phillips, Michael Bracewell, Henry Shipley, Mitchell Santner, Lockie Ferguson and Blair Tickner

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