India spurns chase and opts to bat against NZ in key ODI

VISAKHAPATNAM, India (AP) " India won the toss and opted to bat in the final ODI against New Zealand on Saturday with the five-match series tied at 2-2.

It was a departure from routine for the hosts who usually like to chase in limited-overs cricket. But inexperience in the middle-order has hurt them in two losses at Delhi and Ranchi, and they opted to exploit batting conditions in this decider.

India made two changes from the fourth ODI. Fit-again Jasprit Bumrah comes in for Dhawal Kulkarni, while off-spinner Jayant Yadav makes his ODI debut. Hardik Pandya has been left out.

New Zealand made one change " Corey Anderson coming in for Anton Devcich, and the medium-pace all-rounder is now also fit enough to bowl again.

The pitch at the Dr. YSR Reddy ACA Stadium had come in for some criticism during the recent Ranji Trophy match between Assam and Rajasthan, which finished in three days. The track has been improved to suit batsmen for this ODI.

India hasn't won an ODI series of note since November 2014, having only beaten Zimbabwe twice. The Black Caps have a chance to make history, as they have never won an ODI series in India.

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India: Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni, Kedhar Jadhav, Jayant Yadav, Amit Mishra, Axar Patel, Umesh Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah.

New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Corey Anderson, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, BJ Watling, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult.

This story has been automatically published from the Associated Press wire which uses US spellings

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