India will find it harder to win the one-day series against New Zealand than they did the Test matches. For starters the tormentors of the Kiwis in the Test matches Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja have been given a well deserved rest keeping in mind the England Test series that follows soon after the New Zealand one-day games are over. Secondly New Zealand play fearlessly in limited overs cricket which was hardly evident in their Test matches where most of their batsmen appeared tentative and kept prodding at deliveries. Martin Guptill for example is a terrific limited overs player and he was just hitting his straps in the third Test when he was unfortunately run out. Kane Williamson and Luke Ronchi are two others who can take the game away from the opposition and there is Ross Taylor who would want to make up for his Test performances. Their bowling will also be strengthened by the return of Tim Southee who will add edge to their bowling which was often missing at crucial times in the Test matches.
If England today are playing superb limited overs cricket it is thanks to New Zealand who last year showed them the way and England under Paul Farbrace (Trevor Bayliss had not yet taken over) tried to match them shot for shot and that made for one of the most exciting and strokeful limited overs series one could hope to see with more than 600 runs being scored in just about every game.
New Zealand may have lost Brendon McCullum but his legacy lives on and the Kiwis are one of the most attractive teams to watch. Apart from their brand of cricket what is most refreshing is their attitude on the field where they go about their business without trying to provoke the opposition. If only other teams including India did the same the game would really be the gentlemen's game it was meant to be.
India will have to be at their batting best for the bowling is definitely weakened by the absence of Ashwin and Jadeja and the others may not quite be able to stem the flow of runs. MS Dhoni returns to skipper the team and with the success that the team has had under Virat Kohli he will be under pressure to deliver the same kind of results that Kohli has. Not that pressure has ever bothered 'captain cool’. There is still no better finisher in the game than the Indian skipper and he will have to step up the order to ensure the team under him has plenty of runs on the board. It will be a more absorbing series than the Test matches for sure.