India vs New Zealand 1st T20 Match: After losing the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup in Australia, India will face New Zealand in the first match of the T20 series at the Sky Stadium in Wellington on Friday. Stand-in head coach VVS Laxman said the Hardik Pandya-led side, without many regular stars, would look to play fearless and resilient cricket during the series, which will kick-start preparations for the 2024 T20 World Cup.
After being ousted from the tournament at the Super 12 stage in 2021, India adopted an aggressive approach with the bat which got them the expected results in the bilateral series. But by the time the T20 World Cup 2022 arrived in Australia, he had strayed from his batting approach. Especially in the first six overs, which paled badly in comparison to England’s flamboyant play with both bat and ball.
Players like captain Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul in the top order can prove to be a boon for India in search of batsmen with today’s times in T20 cricket. The series against New Zealand could provide an edge to players who could prove to be the key to ending India’s wait for a trophy in the shortest format since winning the inaugural edition of the tournament in 2007.
Uncapped Ishaan Kishan and Shubman Gill can be the possible openers of the first match in T20 format. While Kishan played as an opener this year while the trial phase was underway, Gill will be hoping to make a mark in the country where he won the Player of the Tournament award in India’s run for the U-19 World Cup trophy. Won the award and made his ODI debut.
But the Indian team management can give a good chance to Rishabh Pant in the top order. Pant burst onto the scene with stellar performances in IPL 2016 after grabbing everyone’s attention with his exploits in the Under-19 World Cup earlier that year, he was largely left out of the starting playing XI in the T20 World Cup as India Dinesh Karthik’s finishing touch was preferred. But after Karthik registered single-digit scores, India included Pant for their last Super 12 match against Zimbabwe as well as for the semi-final against England. In that match at the Adelaide Oval, India did not promote Pant in the batting order when Adil Rashid and Liam Livingstone were bowling.
Instead, he was sent to number six, where he scored six runs in four balls. England defeated India by ten wickets. With the main top three batsmen rested, India may consider running Pant as an opener for longer or if Kishan and Gill open, they should get enough time in the middle order where Suryakumar Yadav And Sanju Samson will also be involved.
With the ball, India will be banking on leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav and off-spin all-rounder Washington Sundar to click. Chahal will have the points to prove after sitting on the bench for India’s campaign in the T20 World Cup, which surprised many in cricket circles. While Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Arshdeep Singh will bowl with the new ball, Umran Malik is expected to deliver with his pace and accuracy. At the same time, Harshal Patel and Mohammad Siraj are also in the fray.
On the other hand, New Zealand were also defeated in the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup by eventual runners-up Pakistan. With the experienced Martin Guptill and Trent Boult ruled out of the squad for the series, it will give young attacking opener Finn Allen a chance to cement his place in both white-ball formats as an opener alongside Devon Conway. With the ball, Adam Milne will be hoping to make the most of opportunities in Boult’s absence. Kane Williamson will be eager to find form, while Daryl Mitchell and Glenn Phillips will be keen to continue their run-scoring ways.
Probel Playing XI:
New Zealand – Finn Allen, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson, Glenn Phillips, Daryl Mitchell, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Adam Milne, Lockie Ferguson, Blair Tickner
India – Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan, Sanju Samson, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant, Deepak Hooda/Washington Sundar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik
Also read: IND vs NZ 2022: New Zealand’s batting coach Ronchi said a big thing, reacted to Kohli-Rohit’s batting