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New Zealand will take the field in Ranchi with the aim of winning and may come up with a change or two in order to achieve it AFP

After witnessing a roller-coaster ride in the first three One-Day Internationals (ODIs), the five-match series between India and New Zealand arrives at Team India s skipper MS Dhoni s hometown Ranchi for the fourth game of the series. After a brilliant batting display by Dhoni and his deputy Virat Kohli at Mohali, India have taken the vital 2-1 lead in the series and with two more games to be played, the hosts are well placed at the moment. A win at Ranchi will seal the deal for them while New Zealand have no choice but to win both the remaining games to win the series. FULL Cricket Scorecard, India vs New Zealand, 4th ODI at Ranchi.

India have been a dominant force this series. Their only loss at Delhi came by a whisker-of-a-margin, just six runs. Not finishing that game is perhaps the only wrong foot they have put in this series. They conquered Dharamsala with ease and Mohali was even easier for them with a happy addition of style and class in that win. Dhoni s self-promotion to No. 4 proved to be a masterstroke. The skipper even told in the press conference that it was not the team s need, but his personal need to bat higher, one of the boldest statements we have come across in recent times.

Quite easily, India have been the team to beat, despite not fielding their best playing XI, as some of the first-choice players have been rested keeping the long Test season at home in mind. Meanwhile, New Zealand have put up a better show in ODIs than Tests. The desired results have still not come. But they still have two games to salvage some pride on this tour by winning at least one leg. They will take the field in Ranchi with the same aim of winning and may come up with a change or two in order to achieve it. Let s take a look at their likely XI for the fourth ODI:

Top-order: After a miserable Test series, barring the last Test at Indore where he got some run under his belt, Martin Guptill has failed again in the ODIs. His scores in the ODIs read 12, 0 and 27. He did show signs of getting back to prime in the last game, but perished early once again, leaving a lot for the management to ponder. His partner, however, has been on a roll. Tom Latham has went past the fifty-run mark in five of the six international matches (three Tests and three ODIs) he has played on this tour and has looked set for a hundred almost everytime he has come out to bat. The team, and he himself, would want to get to that elusive three figure-score at Ranchi. India vs New Zealand 4th ODI: Preview.

The No. 3 spot is a no-brainer, as it will be occupied by the skipper Kane Williamson. He too has been amongst the runs and it was his hundred at Delhi which helped his side win the contest.

Middle-order: Middle-order has been the bone of contention for the Kiwis. Ross Taylor extended dry run with the willow has not helped his team. Being the senior member, he was expected to step up, but that has not been the case thus far. Worse, his dropped catch of Kohli in the last game when the batsman was on six cost his side dearly. With lack of options, New Zealand will most likely stick with Taylor at the fag end of this tour. However, to address the middle-order woes, the team may drop Luke Ronchi and get in BJ Watling in his place.

After starting the tour on a strong note, Ronchi s scores in last five outings read 0, 15, 0, 6 and 1. New Zealand do have a back-up in Watling, who too is a specialist keeper and a more than decent batsman. They may just go back to him in place of struggling Ronchi and play him at No. 5, making room for Corey Anderson at No. 6.

All-rounders: Jimmy Neesham and Mitchell Santner will once again shoulder the responsibility of all-rounder in the side. Neesham s 57-run knock bailed his side out of the troubled waters in Mohali and helped them post a competitive 285 on the board. He is more than handy with the ball too. And even though Santner has not quite clicked in the ODIs, he remains an important member in the side with his all-round abilities. Both these players will take the No. 7 and 8 slots respectively in the line-up. ALSO READ: Ind vs NZ, 4th ODI: Kohli vs Williamson, Umesh vs Guptill and other key battles

Bowlers: New Zealand bowling has done well as compared to their batting, barring the odd game in Mohali. Their only win on the tour in Delhi came on the back of a superlative bowling performance. The BlackCaps have predominantly relied on pace rather than spin in the games so far. And their pacers have done well. Tim Southee and Matt Henry have been outstanding and have got the breakthroughs when needed. Southee has been useful with the bat too, scoring a stroke-filled and entertaining fifty in Dharamsala. However, New Zealand will hope that they do not require his batting services any more in the series.

Coming to the fourth ODI, Southee will take the No. 9 slot in the playing XI. Trent Boult, who was made to sit out in the first ODI at Dharamsala, took 2 for 25 at Delhi and played an instrumental role in his side s win. Though he had a bad game in Mohali, where he ran into Dhoni-Kohli duo who were simply unstoppable, he should make it to the playing XI at No. 10 for two reasons his experience and the variety he brings to the attack being a left-armer. This leaves us with the last slot, which will be a toss-up between Henry and Ish Sodhi. Though Sodhi did not play the last two games, he may come into the mix given the nature of Ranchi pitch, which will assist turn.

New Zealand likely XI: Martin Guptill, Tom Latham, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, BJ Watling/Luke Ronchi (wk), Corey Anderson, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Matt Henry/Ish Sodhi Tim Southee, Trent Boult.

(A self-confessed cricket freak, Chinmay Jawalekar is a senior writer with CricketCountry. When not writing or following cricket, he loves to read, eat and sleep. He can be followed here @CricfreakTweets)