Hamilton – Rohit Sharma took the captain's armband as India lost the toss and were put in to bat Thursday in the fourth one-day international against New Zealand in Hamilton.
With India already 3-0 up in the five-match series, Virat Kohli opted to sit out the dead rubber fixture, allowing Sharma to become skipper for his 200th ODI.
The tourists have also handed a debut to promising young batsman Shubman Gill, the player of the tournament when India won the Under-19 World Cup in New Zealand last year.
“He's a very promising talent so we want to see how he fares here against a quality bowling attack,” Sharma said. “He's shown a lot of talent in the past and this is the real test, so I hope he does well here today.”
In the only other change for India, left-arm medium pacer Khaleel Ahmed replaces Mohammed Shami.
New Zealand captain Kane Williamson revamped his line-up as he tries to boost his team's waning confidence ahead of this year's World Cup.
The Black Caps dropped opening batsman Colin Munro after a string of failures, promoting Henry Nicholls up the order.
“Any decision like this is tough, you sit down and assess your side and what you're looking to go in with,” he said. “But it's a great opportunity for Henry at the top of the order.”
The Black Caps have also brought in all-rounders Jimmy Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme to boost their batting options, as well as using Todd Astle over Ish Sodhi as their spinner.
Williamson said New Zealand had a good record chasing totals at the Seddon Park ground and he hoped humid conditions would allow his blowers to move around the ball early in India's innings.
It's a special day for Rohit Sharma. Not only is he stand-in captain, but he's also playing his 200th ODI!— ICC (@ICC) January 31, 2019
"A long journey, lots of ups and downs, but I am happy where I am," he says.
FOLLOW #NZvIND LIVE ⬇️ https://t.co/goloMnx9mZ pic.twitter.com/8DAYoY1Opx
Martin Guptill, Henry Nicholls, Kane Williamson (capt), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Colin de Grandhomme, Todd Astle, Matt Henry, Trent Boult
Rohit Sharma (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, Ambati Rayudu, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Khaleel Ahmed, Yuzvendra Chahal
Umpires: Nigel Llong (ENG), Chris Brown (NZL)
TV Umpire: Shaun George (RSA)
Match referee: David Boon (AUS)
Agence France-Presse (AFP)