Hardik Pandya and India new team were supposed to get off to a fresh start in Wellington, but it rained so much that the match between the two teams that lost in the semi-finals of the T20 World Cup had to be cut down to just two games. As the threat of rain looms large over Mount Maunganui, there is a chance that the series will be cut even shorter.
Pandya has already led the team three times, twice against Ireland and once against the West Indies, but this series was supposed to point India in a new direction in T20Is. A couple of games against New Zealand would be a good place to start to see how the players respond to Pandya’s leadership, how they approach the game, how they handle pressure, etc. But above all else, they will first hope for good weather.
The focus in the New Zealand camp will be on their leader, Kane Williamson, who has been in the news a lot lately. During the multi-team event in Australia, there were problems with his strike rate, and just nine months after being the first player Sunrisers Hyderabad kept, he was one of the biggest players released in the IPL. He and the other New Zealand players will want to put that behind them and focus on what’s in front of them.
When: 7:30 PM on Sunday, November 20 (local time) (12:00 PM IST)
Bay Oval, which is in Mount Maunganui
What to expect: Thunderstorms are expected on the day of the match, which could cut the game short or even make it a washout. At this site, all T20Is have been won by the team that bats first.
Since Martin Guptill was left off the team, New Zealand’s impressive Finn Allen should get another chance to bat at the top of the order. Unless Trent Boult can’t play, the team should look like how it did in the T20 World Cup.
Finn Allen, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson, Glenn Phillips, Daryl Mitchell, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Adam Milne, and Lockie Ferguson are likely to be in the XI.
India: Since Dinesh Karthik wasn’t picked for this series, Rishabh Pant should get to play. But it’s still not clear whether he will bat first or not. R Ashwin shouldn’t be there, so Yuzvendra Chahal, who didn’t play in the T20 World Cup, should be added.
Probable XI: Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan, Shreyas Iyer / Sanju Samson / Deepak Hooda, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umran Malik / Harshal Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh.
Have you heard?
– Mitchell Santner has got rid of Sanju Samson twice in this format with the seven balls he has thrown at him.
Suryakumar Yadav’s 1040 runs are only the second time in history that a batter has scored 1000 or more runs in a single year.
– Bhuvneshwar Kumar has taken 36 wickets in T20Is this year, and only two other bowlers have more.