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First T20I: New Zealand vs India Preview

New Zealand vs India Preview

After a romping home season, India hit the road heading to New Zealand for a bilateral series that starts with five T20Is.

New Zealand are back at home after a disappointing trip to Australia where they were exposed in Test cricket. The Black Caps and India have put on some spectacular T20s in the recent past, and this series promises plenty of action.

Photo Copyright – Steve Haag Sports 

First T20I | Friday 24 January 2020 | Eden Park, Auckland | 09:00

To Win 
New Zealand 31/20
Tie 35/1
India 52/100

New Zealand
New Zealand are blessed with powerful finishers, making them a dangerous prospect in T20I cricket.
The Blackcaps have steered away from their express pace options with their squad selections choosing to load the group with allrounders and medium pacers in the absence of Trent Boult. Pacemen Lockie Ferguson and Matt Henry miss out while Hamish Bennett and Blair Tickner offer support to Tim Southee.

This may give some clue as to how the surfaces will play in New Zealand where trickery offers more reward than raw speed. New Zealand need Colin Munro and Martin Guptill to fire up front because scoring through the middle overs could prove difficult.

India were dealt a blow in the build-up to the series with in-form opener Shikhar Dhawan ruled out of the tour with a shoulder injury. The injury to Dhawan opens the door for Lokesh Rahul to further impress as a T20I opener, a position he has extensive experience in through the IPL as well as a few internationals.

India’s 16-man squad offers skipper Virat Kohli ample utility with two wicketkeepers and multiple batting and bowling options. A significant challenge will be fixing a starting XI on the Kiwi pitches which can prove challenging to read ahead of matches.

Kuldeep Yadav’s skillset should prove invaluable even if the surfaces offer little to no turn given his ability to alter flight and pace.

Verdict: India
The tourists come into the match brimming with confidence, and they have the hitting power to make the most of Eden Park’s unusual dimensions.

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