New Zealand vs India: Preview, Dream XI of first T20I
After a convincing 4-1 series win in the ODIs, India will be aiming to continue the flow in the first of the three T20Is against New Zealand in Wellington on Wednesday. The Kiwis have a lot to prove in this series. In three bilateral T20I series between the two sides, New Zealand have won two. Here is our detailed match preview.
All eyes will be on Rishabh Pant, who is likely to get a start at number three. It is a big opportunity for the youngster to show his T20 prowess. India might field all three wicket-keeper batsmen, Pant, MS Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan add the strength upfront. Pandya brothers Hardik and Krunal could be the side's two all-rounders.
India are spoilt for choices in bowling. Youngster Khaleel Ahmed warmed the bench in the ODIs and played just one match. The left-arm youngster can be paired with Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Siddarth Kaul comes in as another option. Spin twins Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal were fantastic during the ODIs and are once again be expected to play a prominent role.
With Martin Guptill ruled out of the series, left-handed batsman Henry Nicholls could continue batting atop. His partner Colin Munro is badly out of form and perhaps these T20Is will help him move past his bad patch. Kane Williamson will be their best bet to anchor the innings. Powerful all-rounders like Jimmy Neesham and Colin de Grandhomme could be suitable game-changers.
India have played two T20Is in New Zealand in the past, and they went on to lose both the matches. India are ranked number two in the T20I rankings and New Zealand are sixth. The Kiwis have won only two of their last 11 T20Is and in between lost six successive matches. India have lost two of their last 15 T20Is.
Rohit gets the leadership nod and is our choice to open the innings alongside Shikhar Dhawan. New Zealand's Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor provide the steel. Rishabh Pant comes in as the wicket-keeper batsman. Three powerful all-rounders in the form of Jimmy Neesham, Hardik (vice-captain) and Krunal get the nod. Bhuvneshwar Kumar leads the bowling attack. Lockie Ferguson and Yuzvendra Chahal support him.
The match will be telecast live on the Star Sports Network. One can stream the match live on Hotstar. It is scheduled for a 12:30 PM IST start. The match will be held at Westpac Stadium, Wellington.