After an ODI series win against Australia and a T20I draw, India is all set to take on the Black Caps. Currently, the ODI series is drawn as India came back after a loss at Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. India registered a bossy win in the 2nd ODI at MCA Stadium in Pune and all the credit goes to the opening and death bowling pair, Bumrah and Bhuvi. They restricted New Zealand to a well below par total of 230 and Indian batsmen took care of the rest with contributions from all the top order batsmen.
Both the teams have shown strength and strategy till now in the ODI series, which makes the T20 series much more interesting. The first T20I is going to be played at Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium in New Delhi ( 01 – November – 2017 , Wednesday ). There have been a total of 4 T20I at this stadium with an average first innings score of 146 and second innings score of 142. The pitch is batting-friendly, which makes it an interesting first T20I venue. Both the teams know each other’s strengths and weaknesses which make the first T20I an important match as whoever registers a win in this match would be in the driving seat from the start.
Both the teams have released their T20I squads. Here are the T20I squads:
Indian Cricket Team
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (c), Lokesh Rahul, Manish Pandey, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Axar Patel, Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik, Ashish Nehra and Mohammed Siraj.
New Zealand Cricket Team
Kane Williamson (c), Martin Guptill, Colin De Grandhomme, Henry Nicholls, Mitchel Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tom Latham, Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Tom Bruce, Matt Henry, Henry Nicholls, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Glenn Phillips and Tim Southee.
This is going to be Ashish Nehra’s last international match as he has announced his retirement. Indian fans would want to see the world cup winning player in action, but it is highly unlikely that the skipper would divert from his perfectly set pair of death bowlers. Therefore, it is less likely that Ashish Nehra would get to play his last match.
Players to Watch and Match Prediction:
For the Indian side, the top players to watch out for are the dynamic bowling duo, Bumrah and Bhuvi, the skipper, Virat Kohli and the openers, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan. Both the openers have shown great strength in T20I and would be crucial if the team wants to go the distance and we all know how the captain plays under pressure. Bumrah and Bhuvi are crucial to restrict New Zealand.
For the Black Caps, Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson and Tom Latham are the batsmen to watch out for and for bowlers, Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner need to play an important role. As the pitch favors spin, these bowlers are crucial for New Zealand. If everything goes their way, they are likely to give tough competition to the hosts.
Match could go either way as New Zealand has played well in similar conditions. Tom Latham has shown he can crack open India’s spin attack. Even if that’s the case, the men in blue are still the favorites.
Predicted Winner: India (IN)
RELATED UPCOMING 2nd T20 (India vs New Zealand 04- Nov’17, 2nd T20 Match: Preview & Prediction )
RELATED POST( Top 5 Bowlers from Both the Teams: NZ Tour of IND Oct-Nov’2017 )