The Black Caps return to Eden Park for the first time in 603 days on Friday to face India in the first game of their one-day international series.
Earlier this week, New Zealand returned to the top of the ODI world rankings, following England’s 3-0 defeat to Australia over the Tasman.
But to stay there, they will have to hold off world number 3 India, who they also face in Hamilton on Sunday and Christchurch next Wednesday.
Finn Allen has received the full support of coach Gary Stead and selector Gavin Larsen to replace Martin Guptill at the top of 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, while fellow batting stars Virat Kohli and KL Rahul also sit out this series.
The Black Caps have won their last four ODIs against India – three in New Zealand in early 2020 just before the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic and a semi-final 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 for the home side, the other, in 2014, a draw.
Weather forecast (via MetService)
Half-cloudy. A few showers, possible thunderstorms before dawn, decreasing in the evening. Fresh westerly winds.
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 (center), 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