New Zealand have announced a 15-member ODI side for the three-match series starting from January 18 in Hyderabad. Former Indian opener Aakash Chopra has shared his thoughts on the team ahead of the first ODI between both teams. The series continues the preparations for both teams for the ODI World Cup later this year.
Both teams have announced their ODI squads. Rohit Sharma will lead the Men in Blue while Tom Latham will lead the Kiwis. Regular skipper Kane Williamson decided to opt out of the tour. Along with him, Trent Boult and Tim Southee are also missing from the Kiwi ODI squad.
Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, Tim Southee Missing From New Zealand ODI Squad
Speaking about the Kiwi ODI outfit, Chopra on his Youtube channel said that it is a considerably weak outfit as compared to the hosts who are playing with an almost full-strength side.
“Latham is the captain of the opposition team. In the last series, Tim Southee was the captain and he has also not come this time. In my opinion, a weak team has come. Trent Boult is not there, he is playing ILT20. Southee and Kane Williamson are not there, they are resting” said Chopra.
Aakash Chopra further said that Tom Latham and Devon Conway are the two key batters in this Kiwi setup. While Conway has previous experience of playing in the IPL in Indian conditions, Latham has always scored when he has played in India using the sweep shot to his advantage and playing the spinners well.
In the recent series against Pakistan, Conway was the Player of the Series scoring 153 runs at an impressive strike rate of 96.83, smashing a century and a half-century after a duck in the first game.
Batting Will Revolve Around Tom Latham And Devon Conway: Aakash Chopra
“I didn’t feel that it was a very strong team in any case and it has become even weaker. New Zealand’s story is that their batting will revolve around Devon Conway and Tom Latham. Both are very good players and have very good chances of scoring runs, but you don’t find too many runs apart from them” Chopra further said.
The former Indian cricketer-turned-commentator further said that the Kiwi squad lacks the much-needed depth that is required against the hosts. However, he predicted they to fight even with this second-string squad as the Kiwis are synonymous with punching above their weight.
New Zealand Knows How To Fight: Aakash Chopra
“This team generally knows how to fight and that is what they will try to do. They always punch above their weight. I expect a clinical performance from the Indian team. Ishan Kishan will have a new role and Washington Sundar will have a little more responsibility, which I think he is absolutely capable of. India will win the match” Chopra concluded saying.