New Zealand vs India 1st T20I: So, from a humbler point than their history truly demands New Zealand march again. Still, still with lofty ambitions. And it rallies now to the course of an assault on the top 4. India is ranked 5th while the hosts are placed 6th on the ICC T20I rankings for teams. It’s going to be a braising night at Auckland when the Blue Brigade take on the Kiwi stars. Who wants the series, who will to take a lead in the 5-match T20I series? It’s Kane vs Kohli, a battle between two modern greats & it promises to be an absolute humdinger of a series.
Match: New Zealand vs India 1st T20I
Start-Time: 12:20 PM, IST
The pitches in New Zealand are conducive to swing & bounce. The men in blue don’t have the best of records in New Zealand. They’ve played 5T20Is against the BlackCaps & have managed only a solitary win. However, the only win for the Indians was registered here in Auckland. In T20Is, the teams have battled head-on 11 teams with the Kiwis winning 8 games.
Have the tides changed? India have won their last 3 bilateral T20I series, they outclassed the Aussies in the 3-match ODI series & have won 11 off the 19 T20I games they’ve played since 2019. New Zealand, on the other hand, are returning from a horrendous 3-0 test defeat versus their neighbours, Australia & in their most recent T20I series, they scuffed up a 2-1 lead to the English lads. Losing that series 3-2.
Eden Park Auckland has been the “perfect” cricket turf as far as T20 Internationals are concerned. Out of the 19 matches played at this venue, 9 have been won by the teams batting first & 10 by the teams chasing. The average 1st innings score here is a healthy 172 but 189 will be the number teams batting first will be looking at.
Right-arm pacers have been the most successful breed on this turf. They’ve picked 153 wickets at a loose 8.6 runs/over but the balls per dismissal for this stock is most impressive. They pick a wicket every 15.3 deliveries. The likes of Hamish Bennett, Jasprit Bumrah, Tim Southee, Mohammad Shami will fancy their chances. Navdeep Saini’s pace will bolster the Indian pace attack.
|Eden Park||Right-Arm Pace||19||38||3369||153||390||8.6||22||15.3|
|Eden Park||Left-Arm Pace||17||25||1040||32||117.2||8.9||32.5||22|
|Eden Park||Right-arm OffSpin||19||18||485||21||64||7.6||23.1||18.3|
|Eden Park||Slow left-arm orthodox||16||22||539||26||72.4||7.4||20.7||16.8|
|Eden Park||Right-arm leg Break||15||16||462||16||55.4||8.3||28.9||20.9|
|Eden Park||Left-Arm Chinaman||4||2||60||1||5||12||60||30|
The spinners though concede only 7.8 runs/over. India have a variety of options & will have to sort the selection of their all-rounders. They’ve got the troika of Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja & Washington Sundar in their set-up.
Virat Kohli was super impressed with KL Rahul’s discipline behind the stumps. The skipper mentioned that Rahul will keep wickets giving them an option to pick an extra all-rounder. Manish Pandey will sneak in the middle order & either Yuzvendra Chahal or Kuldeep Yadav will make it to the starting XI.
Kane Williamson will be back to handling the captaincy duties. Daryl Mitchell had a brilliant Super Smash 2019. The all-rounder picked 10 wickets & smashed 219 runs at an impressive 146 runs per hundred balls. He’ll compete with Colin de Grandhomme for a place in the middle order.
PROBABLE XIs NZ vs IND 1st T20I
Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul(wk), Virat Kohli(c), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Shivam Dube, Washinton Sundar/Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammad Shami, Navdeep Saini, Yuzvendra Chahal/Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah
Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson(c), Tim Seifert(wk), Ross Taylor, Colin de Grandhomme/Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Scott Kuggeleijn, Tim Southee, Hamish Bennett
PLAYERS TO WATCH OUT FOR
KL Rahul has been in scintillating form for the men in blue. The right-handed opener made his way back into the side after an impressive outing in the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy & since then hasn’t looked back. Rishab Pant’s disarray behind the stumps has also made definite Rahul’s place in the Indian line-up. In the last 5 T20I innings KL has smashed 263 runs at 52.6. His strike-rate during this interim, a phenomenal 141.62. The Karnataka star is blessed with immaculate timing & his ability to pace an innings is top-notch.
|0 – 9||249||238||104.62||7||79.3||0.458||4||0.1429|
|10 – 19||249||173||143.93||5.09||21.6||0.341||8||0.2857|
|20 – 29||174||112||155.36||5.89||16||0.232||5||0.1786|
|30 – 49||285||173||164.74||4.68||12.4||0.208||2||0.0714|
Clearly, Rahul is a slow starter but once he gets going, there’s very few in the business who can outwit him. The only concern for the right-hander would be his complacency after settling down. The ace batter has been dismissed 7 times between scores of 20-49. The stylish batsman could probably take a leaf out of his captain’s book & bat with more assurance to finish games. His balls/boundary goes up to a mind-boggling 3.56 after he reaches 50. KL Rahul will be the player to watch out for.
Hamish Bennett is in all readiness to make his T20I debut. The pacer has already played 16 ODIs & 1 Test for New Zealand but with some big names missing in the New Zealand squad he’ll have his work cut out. Bennett had a stellar Super Smash 2019/20. The quickie picked 17 wickets in 11 games & conceded only 7.2 runs per over eventually leading Wellington to the Super Smash title. Martin Guptill also has to be contained at the top of the batting order. The lanky opener smashed 403 runs at 44.77. Guptill pummelled 18 sixes in 12 games, a number only equalled by Neil Broom.
Rohit Sharma holds the record for the most number of sixes in T20I. The Mumbaikar has hit 120 sixes in 96 innings. Martin Guptill isn’t far behind with 113.
Virat Kohli(2689), Rohit Sharma(2633) & Martin Guptill(2436) are the top 3 run-getters in T20Is. All three are likely to feature in tomorrow’s encounter.
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