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Before the first ODI, the absence of Trent Boult and Tim Southee creates a significant hole: Tom Latham

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When New Zealand plays India in the opening ODI, they will be missing Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Ish Sodhi, and Kane Williamson.

Tim Southee and Trent Boult are seasoned pacers, so their absence from the New Zealand team leaves a “huge void,” but it also gives periphery players an opportunity to shine on the India trip, according to stand-in skipper Tom Latham ahead of the first ODI on Wednesday. Boult is playing in the ILT20 in the UAE after choosing to forego signing a central contract with New Zealand, while Southee has returned home following a successful tour of Pakistan. The Kiwis’ usual leader Kane Williamson will be missed in the batting department.

“They’re not in the side, which creates a huge gap for us (Boult, Southee, Williamson). For other men who have been a part of the group, though, it gives a chance. The squad’s collective experience playing international cricket is a plus.

“They must now take the initiative. Fortunately, Lockie Ferguson, who played a lot of cricket in India, is here “Latham made this statement during the Tuesday presser before the game.

Along with Henry Shipley, Doug Bracewell, Blair Tickner, and the speed assault will be led by Ferguson.

The veteran spinner Ish Sodhi has been ruled out of the opening ODI owing to a niggle, the southpaw said.

On Tuesday, Sodhi did show up in the nets, but he did not bowl as hard as normal. Latham, a skilled spinner, took the initiative by spending the most time in the nets. “Unfortunately, Ish has a complaint. He won’t be available tomorrow, but we’re crossing our fingers that he’ll be ready for the following several games “Latham stated.

After a stunning 2-1 series victory in Pakistan, New Zealand enters the ODI series against India.

Latham said the series takes on a lot more weight because the ODI World Cup is slated to take place in India in October or November.

“The cricket that we played in Pakistan was really good. Some of them had not toured Pakistan ever and to come up with a series win was really nice. Over here, we will try and adapt to the conditions as much as we can.

“Surfaces in India will potentially be a bit better than what we had in Pakistan. Every time we play India it is a competitive series,” he said.

In the context of the World Cup, Latham added: “This is our last opportunity to play in these conditions before the World Cup which is not too far away. We will just try to take as many learnings as we can from these conditions. Luckily enough most of the guys have played in Indian conditions.” Latham said they have done their homework against the Indian bowlers, including the spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav. Playing in Pakistan also served their batters well ahead of the India tour.

“We are fortunate to frequently play these guys (India) both here and at home. In order to try to decipher different deliveries, we have been speaking with the men who have played in India, whether in the IPL or in international games. In India, spin is a major factor constantly.” Virat Kohli is once again putting up hundreds of runs at will, but Latham said that the club already has preparations in place for the great Indian hitter.

“Great cricket has been played by Virat recently. He seemed to be hitting the ball nicely. We must make the most of our planning, just like we do with our scouting of each of those people. We’ll work to make it as difficult as we can for him to score runs “Added he

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