It was a hard-fought New Zealand vs India ODI series that eventually ended 4-1 in favour of India. The Kiwis were second-best in all the departments, and it is India who have the momentum for the T20I series.
The first match of the series will be played on Wednesday at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington. The change of format could play to the advantage of the Kiwis, who have a balanced T20 squad.
New Zealand Preview
The Kiwis have won six of the nine T20Is played at this venue. The squad is complete with a lot of T20 specialists, even in the absence of Martin Guptill. Colin Munro loves this format and will be crucial at the top of the order.
Captain Kane Williamson had a successful IPL season last year as an opener. With Guptill out, he could slot straight at the top. Ross Taylor’s form is another huge positive for the Kiwis. Tim Southee didn’t feature much in the ODIs, but his experience will be vital in the T20s.
However, New Zealand have lost six of their last seven T20Is and won just four of their last 13.
India will play the series under Rohit Sharma’s captaincy, who brings a lot of IPL experience. There are exciting new faces in the Indian side too, with Rishabh Pant, Krunal Pandya and Siddharth Kaul underlining the changes.
All the players have rich IPL experience and hence add weight with their presence. Once again, it is the Indian bowling that stands out. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav give a strong outlook to the side.
India have won 14 of their last 18 completed T20Is and have not lost any of their last ten T20I series.
Fantasy Players to Watch
Colin Munro has excellent numbers in T20Is – three centuries, SR of 161.83 and an average of 33.15. Back him to make his 50th T20I a memorable one.
Hardik Pandya is someone you can’t keep out of the action. As shown in the last two ODIs, the Indian all-rounder can be a game-changer at any stage.
Tim Southee has eight wickets in four matches at this venue, with an average (13.37) and economy rate (6.68) much better than his career numbers.
Rohit Sharma adds a lot of weight with his captaincy, to go with his calculative batting in T20s. He can be a great fantasy pick for your side.
New Zealand: 1 Colin Munro 2 Kane Williamson (C) 3 Tim Seifert (WK) 4 Ross Taylor 5 Henry Nicholls 6 James Neesham 7 Mitchell Santner 8 Colin de Grandhomme 9 Tim Southee 10 Lockie Ferguson 11 Ish Sodhi
India: 1 Rohit Sharma (C) 2 Shikhar Dhawan 3 Rishabh Pant 4 MS Dhoni (WK) 5 Dinesh Karthik 6 Krunal Pandya 7 Hardik Pandya 8 Bhuvneshwar Kumar 9 Yuzvendra Chahal 10 Kuldeep Yadav 11 Siddharth Kaul
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