India v New Zealand, Pre-series: Combined ODI XI

Rohit Sharma

With the spin troika of Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav and Axar Patel grabbing their opportunities with the white ball, the door seems to be virtually shut on R. Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, India's premier spin bowlers, for the remaining limited-overs home season. He was followed by his opening partner Ajinkya Rahane who scored a brilliant 244 runs with an average close to 50 and held the second spot in list oh highest run-getters for India in the series.

Indian cricket team have always been blessed with the top class batters, be it the "god of cricket" Sachin Tendulkar or former Indian all-rounder Kapil Dev. They played a Test series in Sri Lanka and in all have 15 ODIs and four T20 Internationals under their belts in a span of four months. India will go into the series with great confidence with the team performing well in both bowling and the batting department. "We didn't think of playing the two together but they are so good together that it is very tempting to play them every game".

Kohli told reporters at the Wankhede Stadium on Saturday, ahead of the first ODI versus New Zealand: "We certainly look to give chances to guys who we think have the ability to perform at this level. We thought it's better he gets some game time and Dinesh is more aware how to bat in the middle order", Kohli said.

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"Again as I mentioned, we do not want to confuse him too much making him play in the middle-order because you need to find your game in ODI cricket, you need to understand how to go about things and he has always been very solid at the top of the order because of his technique". Add to this the travel days and training and it is easy to see why the team has hardly got a breather. These youngsters have stepped up, it creates a strong pool for us before World Cup. "If there is an injury or anything, he is right at the doorstep, we don't want to confuse him in any way", said the skipper. Ashwin and Jadeja have played for last 6-7 years limited-overs cricket for us regularly. While in a few series, it has been a one-sided affair with the Indian side rampaging the visitors the last time they visited the country. People only count results and right now we are getting the results. We are really happy with what we are doing as a team at the moment.

"And I love his aggression which rubs off on other players and as the opposition you know you are in a contest when you play against him".

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