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Ahead of their respective Champions Trophy campaigns, India and New Zealand will look to get some practice under their belt in English conditions when they square off in the warm-up at Kennington Oval on Sunday. Both the teams will try their possible combinations in order to put the best eleven before heading into the group matches as all the 15 players can play in the warm-up match.
Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma would open the batting for India, both have immense capabilities to destroy the opposition bowling attack and with a blistering middle order including Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, and Ajinkya Rahane, the Men in Blue will look to dismantle the Kiwis either batting first or chasing. Dhawan, who was the ‘Best Batsman’ during the 2013 Champions Trophy edition, would like to once again cement his place in the limited-overs squad.
Yuvraj Singh will miss the first warm-up match due to fever, which provides an opportunity for players like Dinesh Karthik and Kedar Jadhav to show their talent with the bat and make a permanent place in the side for rest of the tournament.
India’s two effective all-rounders — Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja can come in handy with their abilities to change the course of the match at crucial stages. All eyes will be on Ravichandran Ashwin as he is making a comeback after a two-month break. It will be a huge task for Ashwin and Jadeja to restrict a well balanced New Zealand batting line-up with the likes of Kane Williamson, Martin Guptill and Ross Taylor.
India’s pacers have done remarkably well in the IPL but on away soil it will be a test of character in pressure situations for young Jasprit Bumrah. A fit Mohammad Shami is a strong asset for India with his ability to work up brisk pace, swing the ball both ways and hit the blockhole. But with Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav looking good to make it to the playing XI against Pakistan, Shami can just hope for the best.
For New Zealand, Mitchell McClenaghan, Tim Southee, and Trent Boult make up for a dangerous seam attack in any given condition with their abilities to take quick wickets in early overs, putting pressure on the middle order batsmen.