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India have been superb in bilateral cricket and their last bilateral T20I series loss came back in July 2021. New Zealand have won just one out of the last 11 T20Is against India. Thus, the Hardik Pandya-led side will start as favourites.
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India: Ishan Kishan (wk), Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav, Rahul Tripathi, Hardik Pandya (c), Deepak Hooda, Washington Sundar, Shivam Mavi, Umran Malik, Arshdeep Singh, Kuldeep Yadav/Yuzvendra Chahal
New Zealand: Finn Allen, Devon Conway, Mark Chapman, Glenn Phillips, Daryl Mitchell, Michael Bracewell, Michael Rippon, Mitchell Santner (c), Henry Shipley, Lockie Ferguson, Blair Tickner
After the loss in the ICC T20 World Cup 2022 semi-final, the big boys like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul have been out of the T20I team as coach Rahul Dravid said they want to focus on the ODI format (as there is a World Cup in October) and Test cricket. However, India have started to build a young squad under Hardik Pandya, who is tipped to be India’s full-time T20I skipper.
Shubman Gill and Ishan Kishan who opened the batting in the T20Is against Sri Lanka didn’t have a great run but Gill’s ODI form has been insane and he’ll be eyeing to convert that into the shortest format. Rahul Tripathi impressed in the two games he played while Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda and Hardik Pandya form a solid middle-order core. As far as the bowling is concerned, Arshdeep Singh’s T20 rise has been excellent while Umran Malik has picked up wickets regularly. Shivam Mavi will be looking to grab another opportunity and impress the selectors.
Meanwhile, New Zealand’s last T20I was against India at home and the batting is likely to see a similar combination. Most of them even played the ODI series, barring Mark Chapman who is likely to bat at No. 3. Their batting line-up which comprises of Finn Allen, Devon Conway, Chapman, Glenn Phillips and Daryl Mitchell wears a good look and can test the inexperienced Indian bowling attack.
Meanwhile, the bowling was the issue for the Kiwis in the ODI series and it will continue to be a challenge in the T20Is, given the inexperience of most of the pacers, apart from Lockie Ferguson who will once again lead the attack. The onus will be on the spinners, including skipper Santner to lead the way.
New Zealand’s recent record against India is not the best and they will want to correct that. They’ve each of the last three bilateral rubbers and have managed to win just one out of the last 11 games.
India are likely to go in with a similar combination that played the T20I series against Sri Lanka. The only change could be Washington Sundar coming in for the rested Axar Patel. Another toss-up could be between the two wrist-spinners, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav.
New Zealand may play left-arm leg-spinning all-rounder Michael Rippon in the middle-order and he could be a part of the three-pronged all-round spin attack which includes Santner and Bracewell. Henry Shipley, Lockie Ferguson and Blair Tickner could form the pace attack.
Suryakumar Yadav has been India’s talisman in the T20I format. He has batted beautifully over the last 12-13 months. He has amassed 1334 runs at an average of 49.40 and a strike-rate of 185.79 in T20Is since the start of 2022. The India No. 4 has smashed three hundreds and 10 fifties as well. He will once again be the key in the middle-order for India.
Glenn Phillips is in top form and has been a consistent performer for the Kiwis in the shortest format. He was New Zealand’s best batter in T20Is in 2022 where he aggregated 716 runs while averaging 44.75 and striking at 156.33. He is that game-changer in the middle-order.
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Rohit is a cricket enthusiast striving to convey the finer details of the game in a capsule. He hopes to present a bird's eye view of the game, as he sees it, to the readers. He is smitten by the likes of ABD but crushes on pace bowlers who can make the ball talk. Email: [email protected]More info on Rohit Sankar
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