A strong comeback will be expected from India after the hammering from New Zealand in the series-opener when the two teams square-up in the second T20 International at Eden Park in Auckland on Friday.
After suffering their biggest loss in T20 Internationals in terms of runs on Wednesday night, India don’t have a lot of time to introspect with just 24 hours separating the two games.
It took a change of format for New Zealand’s batting to finally fire against India this home summer. It was the kind of day when nothing went right for India who let New Zealand amass 219 before surrendering meekly in the steep chase.
Thanks to the fast hands and sharp eye of Tim Seifert, whose previous eight Twenty20 internationals had reaped 42 runs, the Black Caps lit up a chilly Westpac Stadium with a record total and 80-run win in game one.
Seifert hit six sixes in his knock of 84 off 43 balls as New Zealand plundered 219-6 after being sent in.
Roared on by their usual sea of flag-waving fans, India were dismissed for 139 and never threatened their steep target as star MS Dhoni (39 off 31) hit out in vain at the end. Tim Southee in a welcome return led a polished bowling display with 3-17.
Now in order to win the series, India have to win the 2nd T20I at the iconic Eden Park in Auckland.
India will aim to pull up their socks in both batting and bowling departments when they face a resurgent Kiwi side in a do-or-die second T20I at the Eden Park in Auckland on Friday (February 8).
Date: Friday, February 08, 2019
Timing: 11:30 AM IST and 11:00 AM PKT
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
Weather: Partly cloudy condition with a high of 21 degree Celsius are forecast during the match time.
Conditions / Pitch Report: Eden Park is oddly shaped and a tough ground to defend. This is a ground where last year Australia successfully chased down 244 with seven balls to spare. In the three Super Smash games played at Eden Park this season, 180-plus totals have been achieved four times – hinting at another high-scorer when New Zealand and India face off.
Head to Head:
Matches: 9 | New Zealand: 7 | India: 2 | NR: 0
New Zealand: W W L L L (completed matches, most recent first)
India: L W L W W
1. New Zealand
Colin Munro and Tim Seifert are the opening batsmen with the elegant Kane Williamson at number three.
The only change New Zealand might think of is to possibly find a way to include James Neesham. He could replace Kuggeleijn or de Grandhomme.
The bonus would be on Ross Taylor in the middle order. Daryl Mitchell would want to make amends with a strong show. Mitchell Santner is the all-rounder and he’ll partner Ish Sodhi in the spin department.
New Zealand’s Probable XI:
1. Kane Williamson (capt), 2. Colin Munro, 3. Tim Seifert (wk), 4. Ross Taylor, 5. James Neesham, 6. Daryl Mitchell, 7. Mitchell Santner, 8. Tim Southee, 9. Scott Kuggeleijn, 10. Lockie Ferguson, 11. Ish Sodhi
India went with Krunal in place of Kuldeep to prolong their batting lineup and they might once again go back to the left-arm wrist spinner who had a superb ODI series.
Krunal spoke about conceding too many runs in the middle overs and that’s what Kuldeep can minimise by picking up regular wickets.
India could go in with a few changes. One of the three wicketkeepers or one of the allrounders could be left out. They could want to play two wristspinners too.
The management may give Punjab fast bowler Siddarth Kaul an opportunity in place of Khaleel Ahmed after the latter went for plenty with the ball.
India’s Probable XI:
1. Rohit Sharma (capt), 2. Shikhar Dhawan, 3. Shubman Gill, 4. Vijay Shankar, 5. Dinesh Karthik, 6. MS Dhoni (wk), 7. Hardik Pandya, 8. Siddarth Kaul, 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:
- Yuzvendra Chahal needs five wickets to reach 50. Only Jasprit Bumrah (48) and R Ashwin (52) have taken more for India.
- The last time India lost a T20I series (min. two matches) was against the Windies in Florida in August 2016.
- Rohit Sharma needs two more sixes to reach the milestone of 100 sixes in T20Is. Chris Gayle and Martin Guptill currently top this list with 103 sixes apiece.