India tour of New Zealand 2019: MS Dhoni is unlikely to play the 4th ODI in Hamilton on Thursday as the team management is keen on him recovering fully from a sore hamstring.
- MS Dhoni suffered a sore hamstring during the second ODI of the ongoing 5-match series
- MS Dhoni did not play the third ODI, which India won by 7 wickets
- Shubman Gill will become India's 227th ODI player if he makes the debut in Hamilton on Thursday
19-year-old Shubman Gill is all set to make his senior national team debut on Thursday when India and New Zealand meet in Hamilton for the fourth ODI in the ongoing five-match series.
Gill, who was included in the squad after KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya were sent home over the Koffee With Karan controversy, is set to take captain Virat Kohli's place in the playing XI. Kohli was rested for the last two ODIs and the upcoming T20I series, starting February 6.
India are expected to make a couple of changes to the match-winning XI from the third ODI as MS Dhoni is unlikely to return for the Hamilton tie. The India wicketkeeper-batsman had missed the third ODI in Mount Maunganui with a sore hamstring.
Dhoni was spotted training in Hamilton on Wednesday but the team management is opting for a cautious approach and wants him to completely recover from the injury ahead of a hectic limited-overs season, India Today has learnt.
Dhoni was in fine form in India's historic 2-1 win over Australia as he hit three back-to-back half-centuries and won the Man of the Series award. In the only innings (second ODI in Mount Maunganui) he has played in New Zealand, Dhoni made a 33-ball unbeaten 48.
In Dhoni's absence, Dinesh Karthik will continue the wicket-keeping duties and Shubman Gill comes into the XI as a top-order batsman. It remains to be seen where Gill will bat on Thursday as Ambati Rayudu may get a promotion to No. 3 spot.