Kiwis elect to bat in Hamilton

Published: Wednesday, March 11, 2009, 8:25 [IST]
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NZ wins toss and elect to bat

Hamilton: New Zealand captain Daniel Vettori won the toss and elected to bat first at Seddon Park in Hamilton on Wednesday.

Sachin Tendulkar has been ruled ou the match due an abdomen injury but the visitors have the batting might to still get past the Kiwis who have no option but to win the match to stay afloat in the series.

The MRI scan done on India's premier batsman has revealed internal bleeding in his stomach. Rohit Sharma replaces the injured Tendulkar and Munaf Patel has been dropped for Ishant Sharma.

Considering the momentum the Indians have gained since the debacle in the Twenty20 series, the Blackcaps would have to produce something more than their best to stop the marauding visitors and if they succeed, Vettori's men would have served notice as another potential match-winning unit to be reckoned with in the future.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni's troops have been playing a sort of firebrand cricket as there is self-belief, confidence and camaraderie.

The Kiwis would take comfort from the fact that Tendulkar would be rested, but the return of Ishant Sharma, who should replace Munaf Patel, will lend more thrust to the Indian attack.

It will be an interesting battle between the highly-regarded Indian new ball pair and the Kiwi openers, Brendon McCullum and Jesse Ryder.

Ryder, while thundering to his maiden ODI hundred, made it loud and clear to bowlers around the globe that he could destroy any attack on his day. But he has to be a lot more consistent to win respect a the international level.


India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Capt.), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Yusuf Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Praveen Kumar, Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma, Rohit Sharma.

New Zealand: Daniel Vettori (Capt.), Brendon McCullum, Jesse Ryder, Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Jacob Oram, Grant Elliot, Peter McGlashan, Iain O'Brien, Kyle Mills, Ewen Thompson.


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