The Black Caps return to Eden Park for the first time in 603 days on Friday to take on India in the first match of their one-day international series.
Earlier this week, New Zealand returned to the top of the world ODI rankings, following England’s 3-0 series loss to Australia across the Tasman.
But to stay there, they will have to hold off world No 3 India, who they also play in Hamilton on Sunday and Christchurch next Wednesday.
Finn Allen has been given the full backing of coach Gary Stead and selector Gavin Larsen to replace Martin Guptill at the top of the order for the Black Caps, with the veteran not included in the squad for this series.
ODI specialist Shikhar Dhawan will lead India in the absence of regular captain Rohit Sharma, with fellow batting stars Virat Kohli and KL Rahul also sitting out this series.
The Black Caps have won their last four ODIs against India – three in New Zealand in early 2020, just before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic and a semifinal at the 2019 Cricket World Cup in England.
Two of the last three matches between the two teams at Eden Park have ended in wins to the home team, with the other, in 2014, a tie.
Weather forecast (via MetService)
Partly cloudy. A few showers, possibly thundery before dawn, easing in the evening. Fresh westerlies.
Black Caps $1.75, India $2.00
Black Caps: Kane Williamson (c), Finn Allen, Michael Bracewell, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Adam Milne, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee
India: Shikhar Dhawan (C), Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Shahbaz Ahmed, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Deepak Chahar, Kuldeep Sen, Umran Malik