Ind, NZ eye getting over WC heartbreak in first T20 faceoff

Ind, NZ eye getting over WC heartbreak in first T20 faceoff

Wellington:  India and New Zealand will grab the opportunity coming their way to get over the T20 World Cup heartbreak when they lock horns in the first of the three-match T20 series here on Friday.

Great opportunity also awaits the second-strung players in the absence of seniors like Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli in the batting department and Jasprit Singh Bumrah and Mohammad Shami in the bowling.

Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill would aim to make a strong case for the team’s preferred openers. And nothing can stop them to do so given their international experience.

Shubman is not a stranger to New Zeaand, though he will be making his T20 debut in the Kiwi land. In fact, he came into limelight with his sterling performance in the U19 World Cup in 2018. Kishan also has equally made some impact with his bat and gloves behind the stumps.

Sanju Samson, an extremely talented but highly under-estimated batsman, Sanju Samson would be desperate to make the series count.

Washington Sundar, an unsung hero of the victorious Indian team Down Under, is returning to the side and would like to make contributions as he did in the Test series against Australia.

Rishabh Pant, who could make a decent run at the top of the order, would like to make the cut after he was kept out of the T20 World Cup at initial stages as India preferred finishing touches of Dinesh Karthik.

Wrist spinners, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, would like to tide over India’s problem of taking wickets in the middle overs, which has been their nemesis in crunch matches.

Umran Malik would eye on filling the shoes of Bumrah, who is missing the series due to an injury, without conceding on his raw pace.

Pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Arshdeep Singh could resume their duties from where they left off in the T20 World Cup. Mohammad Siraj would pull his trigger to aim at perfection to cement his place in the first-strung team.

New Zealand, on the flipside, would like to turn the cart of fortunes in their favour after their semifinal exit at the world cup under Kane Williamson’s leadership.

The host players also would like to grab the opportunity in the absence of senior pros like opener Martin Guptill and Trent Boult who had opted out of a central contract.

This will give young attacking opener Finn Allen a chance to cement his spot in both white-ball formats as an opener alongside Devon Conway and Adam Milne to give his best shot in Boult’s absence.

Williamson would be eager to be back amongst the runs, while Daryl Mitchell and Glenn Phillips will be keen to continue their run-scoring ways.

Squads:

India: Hardik Pandya (c), Rishabh Pant, Ishan Kishan, Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik.

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (c), Finn Allen, Michael Bracewell, Devon Conway (wk), Lockie Ferguson, Daryl Mitchell, Adam Milne, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner.

UNI

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