logomakr_7hfxnxBig Picture:Off the top of your head, it might be difficult to remember when New Zealand last played an ODI. Number nuts would tell you it was eight months ago, but perhaps the fact that it was Brendon McCullum's final ODI appearance has more instant recall value. Things aren't too dissimilar in the opposite camp. Amid a heavy diet of T20s and Tests, India have not played too many games in the 50-over format. You'd have to go back to Australia in January for any ODIs India have played against top teams this year; that series aside, the only other ODIs they've had this year was when a second-string side visited Zimbabwe in June.
For both the teams, this five-match ODI series has both immediate and long-term relevance. While the 2017 Champions Trophy is the common bigger agenda, New Zealand would also dearly want to finish the tour on a high and help the scars of the 3-0 Test defeat heal.
The visitors have seemingly not let that Test drubbing get to them, keeping it light with generous humour at practice and a bit of gushing over Dharamsala's gorgeous mountains. In a season where they play 24 ODIs before the Champions Trophy begins in June next year, their build up, as Luke Ronchi suggested, is expected to be gradual with different players being rested and newer players tried out at different stages.
India, on the other hand, don't have the luxury of time in this format - they play only eight ODIs from now till June. India captain MS Dhoni, who usually frowns upon any reference to experimentation, admitted they have a limited window to audition players and hit upon their best combination. It is possible every member of India's 15-man squad will get a game at some point in this series. read more