Having dominated the first leg of their tour of New Zealand with a crushing victory in the ODI series, the Indian cricket team now sets its sights on the T20I series to conclude their Kiwi challenge.
India and New Zealand will lock horns in a three-match T20 international contest, starting at Wellington on Wednesday, 6 February.
The Men in Blue powered their way to a 4-1 win in the one-dayers – their biggest-ever victory margin in any series in New Zealand – with a commanding display.
They will hope to carry the same form into the shortest format, in which they are yet to have won a single game on New Zealand soil.
Rohit Sharma will continue to lead the side in the absence of Virat Kohli, who was rested for the final two ODIs as well as the T20I series.
Date: Wednesday February 06, 2019
Timing: 12:30 PM IST and 12:00 PM PKT
Venue: Westpac Stadium, Wellington
Weather: The weather is expected to be perfect for cricket.
Conditions / Pitch Report: At the Westpac stadium, pacers have generally found swing. It can be encapsulated by Tim Southee’s success (eight scalps at 13.77 in T20Is) at the stadium. Teams have preferred to chase, evidenced by eight out of nine captains who won the toss in T20Is at the stadium, electing to field.
Head to Head:
Matches: 8 | New Zealand: 6 | India: 2 | NR: 0
New Zealand: W L L L L (completed matches, most recent first)
India: W L W W W
1. New Zealand
Looking to put the deflating one-day international series loss behind him, New Zealand captain Kane Williamson Tuesday said he is excited about the prospect of testing unheralded players against a top team like India in the T20 series starting on Wednesday.
New Zealand have drafted in two debutants — all-rounder Daryl Mitchell and right-arm pacer Blair Tickner — in the T20 squad besides all-rounder Scott Kuggeleijen, who has played just one T20, and wicketkeeper Tim Seifert (eight T20s).
Williamson said with Martin Guptill ruled out due to a back injury, some rookie players will be in action in the three-match T20 series against India.
With Guptill not in the scheme of things, Williamson didn’t rule out the possibility of opening the innings in the T20 matches.
New Zealand’s Probable XI:
1. Kane Williamson (capt), 2. Colin Munro, 3. Tim Seifert (wk), 4. Ross Taylor, 5. James Neesham, 6. Colin de Grandhomme, 7. Mitchell Santner, 8. Tim Southee, 9. Doug Bracewell, 10. Lockie Ferguson, 11. Ish Sodhi
Team India who are without Jasprit Bumrah and Virat Kohli will be happy with the return of the in-form Rishabh Pant. Also, Hardik Pandya will boost up the squad with his all-round performance.
Out of the three wicketkeeper-batsmen, MS Dhoni and Rishabh Pant are likely to feature in the playing XI while Dinesh Karthik is likely to stay on the bench.
India’s Probable XI:
1. Rohit Sharma (capt), 2. Shikhar Dhawan, 3. Shubman Gill, 4. Rishabh Pant, 5. Dinesh Karthik, 6. MS Dhoni (wk), 7. Hardik Pandya, 8. Krunal Pandya, 9. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10. Yuzvendra Chahal, 11. Kuldeep Yadav
Players to watch:
1. Rohit Sharma – Batsman, India
Rohit Sharma is always a dangerous player when it comes to the shortest format of the game. One of the most powerful hitters of the ball, Rohit Sharma doesn’t need any time to adjust and can switch gears in an instant. He has been very consistent with the runs for India in the last year and could be one of the most important players in the series.
2. Yuzvendra Chahal – Bowler, India
Another player who has had a good outing in New Zealand, Yuzvendra Chahal has been very good with the ball. Even in the last game, Chahal was instrumental in defending what was a modest total. His slow bowling and variations often put the batsmen in a heap of trouble.
3. Colin Munro – Batsman, New Zealand
What Rohit Sharma is to India, Colin Munro is to New Zealand. With Martin Guptill ruled out of the T20I series, the onus will be on Munro to hit the ground running. Munro is a natural when it comes to big knocks and could be a lethal player for the hosts in the series.
4. James Neesham – All-rounder, New Zealand
Replacing the injured Martin Guptill, Neesham has a golden chance to cement his place in the team for the Black Caps. A player of his quality is always a danger for opposition bowlers as he often tends to take the game away with his maximums.
Stats and trivia:
- India haven’t lost any of their last ten bilateral T20I series
- India have lost only one of the 12 T20s when captained by Rohit Sharma