Hello friends, The T20 series between India and New Zealand tomorrow with the first match starting at 12.30 pm IST. Most of the Indian team had left their shores three months back on the tours of Australia and of New Zealand. Their time has been well spent winning the Test series in Australia and the ODI series in both in Australia and in New Zealand. With not many ODI’s left for both the teams before the ODI World Cups kicks off at the end of May this year, this T20 series will also be used as the preparation ground for the two nations to fine-tune their teams for the tournament.
New Zealand’s new Coach Gary Stead will miss the services of Martin Guptill, the New Zealand opener in the series. He is reported to have suffered a lower back problem and will be out of contention for some time to come. New Zealand’s performance in T20 cricket has not been as impressive as that in the Odis. They had been cleaned out in the series that they played against Pakistan in the UAE before they won the one-off T20 match against Sri Lanka.
The New Zealander’s main strike bowler in the ODI series, Trent Boult, will also miss the T20 series as he is being rested. Tim Southee and Lockie Fergusson will take care of the fast bowling department while all-rounders Collin De Grandhomme and James Neesham will be the other two bowlers. Ish Sodhi along with Mitchell Santner, who came into the New Zealand side after a long layoff of nine months due to a knee injury, will be the spinners for the Kiwis. Their batting will mostly rely on Kane Williamson, Colin Munro and Ross Taylor.
The Indians, led by Rohit Sharma, will have the opportunity to try some new players in these three matches. With Mohammed Shami not in the reckoning for this T20 series, Bhuveneshwar Kumar will be the lone experienced pace bowler for the Indians. The Indians will be expecting either Siddarth Kaul or Khaleel Ahmed to give him company as the opening bowlers. The two spinners, Kuldeep Yadav and Yazuvendra Chahal have already demonstrated the inability of the New Zealand batsmen to handle their wrist spin. They will for the spearhead of the Indian attack.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni is back in the T20 side after a lay off against the West Indies and the Australians. Dinesh Kartik too will try to cement his place in the World Cup squad as the first change wicketkeeper and as the number six batsman. Shubman Gill, Vijay Shankar and Krunal Pandya, brother of Hardik Pandya, will also take the opportunity if it comes their way to put up their hands in a bid for a place in the World cup squad.
Although there is not much pressure on the Indian team to win this series, they would like to end the long tour on a successful note. All in all, the series promises to be an interesting one and both the teams will want to come out of it with some positives.
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