One of India's cricketing rock stars has arrived in New Zealand for the ODI series against the Black Caps although Shikar Dhawan doesn’t have his all star cast behind him.
India have opted to leave out the likes of Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Ajinka Rahane for the three-match series which starts tomorrow at Eden Park but Dhawan backed the call of the selectors.
“This preparation is all about the World Cup and all the young boys have been performing quite well,” Dhawan said today.
“It’s good to see that they are doing so well that we have a very good idea who's going to make the world cup squad.”
Saturday marks a year to the day until the ODI World Cup final in India – the target not only of the men in blue but Kane Williamson and his Black Caps squad too.
Although the New Zealand skipper said they’re approaching the upcoming series differently to their opponents.
“I’m reluctant to call it preparation [for the World Cup],” he said.
“It's very much focusing on the series at hand.”
New Zealand are due to play 18 ODIs before the World Cup but questions continue to be asked about the appeal of the 50-over game with players juggling competitions like the IPL on top of international commitments.
Those discussions were amplified this week at the MCG when just 10,000 turned up to watch Australia and England contest an ODI.
“Managing the schedule is really, really important - whether that’s some games here or there, that does have to be looked at,” Williamson added.
“When there is so much on you might see things like what we saw in Aus where there weren’t as many people as they hoped.
“You do want to make sure as much as you can there is context and players are nice and fresh but it’s tough to achieve at the moment.”
While the likes of Williamson play in every team possible, Dhawan's approach is different as he represents his country in ODIs only.
“I see it as a blessing because I get off time and I do other stuff as well,” he said.
“I stay more fresh and much more stronger.”