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#NZvIND ODI series Preview: Mission 2023 World Cup begins

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India signed off from Napier with the T20I series in the bag. The action now moves to Auckland as the Men in Blue change gears for the longer format of white-ball cricket against New Zealand. But there’ll be no Hitman or Hardik Pandya leading the side this time. Instead, Shikhar Dhawan a.k.a Gabbar will don the captain’s hat for the three-match ODI series starting from Friday (November 25). The following games will be played in Hamilton and Christchurch, respectively.

India have never lost a bilateral ODI series under Dhawan’s captaincy, but New Zealand has not been India’s best hunting ground either. After a rare 3-0 whitewash the last time they toured New Zealand in 2020 and with only 14 wins of the 42 ODI matches against the Kiwis in New Zealand, Gabbar will be hoping to set the record straight.

Since India also start their ODI World Cup preparations from this series, it would be interesting to see if the likes of Sanju Samson and speedster Umran Malik get a game or warm the bench as they did in the T20I series. Meanwhile, Kane Williamson will be back for the hosts after having missed the third T20I due to a pre-arranged medical appointment.

What: New Zealand vs India, 3-match ODI series

When: November 25, November 27 and November 30

Where: Auckland, Hamilton and Christchurch

What they said

“This preparation is all about the upcoming World Cup. The players are forming really well. It's good to see that they are doing well and we have a really good idea…. who will get a chance to claim a spot in the World Cup squad." - Indian skipper Shikhar Dhawan.

"[Martin] Guptill hasn't retired. He is looking at playing some other tournaments while still being available. As a player, you always go through different periods and you get to different stages, and you're trying to basically manage that as best you can."– New Zealand captain, Kane Williamson

What to expect: With the likes of Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and KL Rahul rested for the ODI series, expect SKY, Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, and the other newcomers to turn up and lay an early claim for next year’s World Cup squad.

What you need to do: Stay positive, guys! We know the rain played spoilsport in the T20 series but the sun is shining in Auckland. There’s no forecast of rain throughout the day and the temperature is expected to be around 16°C.