India captain Rohit Sharma on Tuesday confirmed that wicketkeeper-batter Ishan Kishan will return to the playing XI in the three-match One-Day International series against New Zealand. The 24-year-old had been excluded from the recently concluded series against Sri Lanka despite scoring a record double hundred against Bangladesh.

Shubman Gill, who was chosen ahead of Ishan to open alongside Rohit in the Sri Lanka series, made the most of the opportunity with scores of 70, 21, and 116. However, with Shreyas Iyer ruled out of the series due to a back injury and KL Rahul unavailable, Ishan will return to the team and don the wicket-keeping gloves, albeit in a different batting position.

“Ishan will be batting middle-order, I’m glad that he can get a run here after a fine knock against Bangladesh,” the captain said in the pre-match press conference.

The hosts, fresh from their 3-0 sweep of Sri Lanka, will hope to take on a confident Kiwi side, as they prepare for this year’s 50-over World Cup at home. Tom Latham and Co are coming off a 2-1 series win against Pakistan and are expected to provide a stiffer challenge to India.

Talking about the team’s plan for the series, Rohit said, “Going into the series, it is pretty simple for us, try to keep improving as a team and fine-tune everything that is in front of us in terms of our batting, bowling and fielding.”

He added: “Great opposition and a great opportunity for us to achieve what we want to achieve as a team. New Zealand is coming off a series win in Pakistan, they are playing some good cricket. It will be challenging for us to execute what we want to execute.”

Rohit also shared his views on the timings for ODIs that are played in India. With the 50-over World Cup scheduled to happen in the country later this year, the concern is that dew becomes too much of a factor with matches starting in the afternoon and ending at night.

The India captain said he likes the idea of World cup matches starting earlier in the day.

“I mean, it [having an early start] is a good idea because it’s a World Cup, right?,” said Rohit. “You don’t want to compromise too much on the toss factor and you want to take that [advantage] completely away. I like that idea of an early start, but I don’t know if it’s possible.

“The broadcasters will decide what time the game should start [laughs]. But ideally you don’t want that sort of advantage in the game. You want to see good cricket being played without one side having the advantage of batting under lights with the dew. But those are the things that are not in your control. But I like the idea of an early start.”

Schedule for IND vs NZ ODI series

Wednesday 18-Jan-23 1:30 PM First ODI Hyderabad
Saturday 21-Jan-23 1:30 PM Second ODI Raipur
Tuesday 24-Jan-23 1:30 PM Third ODI Indore


India: Rohit Sharma (c), Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan (wk), Virat Kohli, Rajat Patidar, Suryakumar Yadav, KS Bharat (wk), Hardik Pandya (vc), Washington Sundar, Shahbaz Ahmed, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Umran Malik.

New Zealand: Finn Allen, Devon Conway, Henry Nicholls, Daryl Mitchell, Tom Latham (w/c), Michael Bracewell, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson, Blair Tickner, Jacob Duffy, Doug Bracewell, Mark Chapman, Henry Shipley.