Love this image from the Herald, from an article extolling the strengths of our exciting top four, McCullum, Ryder, Guptill and Taylor, showing them all flourishing their blades.
The Indians of course have brought along debatably the best ODI top order currently in service. (That would be a fiery debate however.)
Let’s see how the two top four compare head to head.
Not entirely flattering to the New Zealanders in terms of ranking, with an average of about 50 compared to an average of about 12 for the Indians. However, the stats don’t look vastly different (except maybe the rather unfair comparison between McCullum and Tendulkar). Based on these averages, we’d expect the Indians to score about 150 from about 29 overs. Whereas the New Zealanders will score 160 off about 31 (admittedly rather skewed by Guptill’s stats). Pretty much dead even.
Indian have an extremely good middle order in Dhoni alone, but NZ have Vettori and Mills in their bowling line up. You’ve got to expect this to be a close run series. I’m picking 3-2 to New Zealand.