The Black Caps caught India off guard with a stunning display of aggressive batting to grab the initiative in a three-match series with a win in the opener.
India are not the kind of team who expect to be handed consecutive international defeats in any format and they will be eager to respond.
New Zealand v India | Friday, 8 February | Eden Park, Auckland | 08:00
To Win Match
New Zealand 5/4
Tim Seifert showed why the Black Caps’ management have put so much faith in him with a devastating knock of 84 off 43 balls that helped power the hosts well past 200 at the Westpac Stadium.
Mitchell Santner put in a stellar shift with the ball in the first T20I to rob India of their middle-order momentum. The Black Caps will be delighted to have the all-rounder back from injury.
Even without Trent Boult, New Zealand have a significant pace threat and Tim Southee proved that in Wellington, picking up massive wickets to put the Black Caps in charge of the contest.
Eden Park’s short straight boundaries are a headache for fielding captains – and can make the ground a very high-scoring one if the surface plays along.
India may be without Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah, but they will be chastened by a record defeat to New Zealand in Wellington – and will look to respond in Auckland.
Kuldeep Yadav has been India’s star man in this format since he burst onto the scene and he is expected to return to the team after the attack failed to stem the flow of runs last time out.
India couldn’t string partnerships together in Wellington and the steady loss of wickets ultimately saw them bowled out well short of the target of 220. India will look to make a stronger start to the second match to re-establish their dominance over the hosts.
A failure for stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma should motivate the so-called ‘Hitman’ to bring his devastating ‘A’ game to New Zealand’s largest sports stadium.
Verdict: India 67/100
In this format, India should be able to dig deep and find an appropriate response to defeat in Wellington.