India’s Predicted Playing XI for 1st T20I: Sportsrush presents before you India’s playing XI for the first T20I against New Zealand.
Having defeated New Zealand 4-1 in the ODI series, India are now gearing up for the second leg of their tour across the Tasman sea. The visitors will now play three T20Is against the Kiwis, the first of which will be played tomorrow at Wellington.
It is worth mentioning that India will be playing a T20I in New Zealand for the first time since 2009. From that squad, only Rohit Sharma, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik are part of the current squad.
It wouldn’t be wrong to say that India will include the three-match series as part of their curriculum for ICC Cricket World Cup 2019’s preparations. Despite the change in format, at least a couple of Indian cricketers will be looking to press their ODI case with sound performances in the T20I series.
Keeping their plans for the world event in mind, India will be looking to also dominate the series much like the ODI series for they haven’t ever won a T20I match in New Zealand.
India’s Predicted Playing XI for 1st T20I
1) Top-order – India’s ever reliable opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma will continue to face the new ball against the Kiwis. Speaking during the press conference ahead of the first T20I, Dhawan had laid emphasis on change in mindset working for him while switching formats.
New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson feels the T20I series will help his team prepare for the World Cup, while addressing the media before the 1st T20I against India at Wellington.#NZvsIND pic.twitter.com/XRZVWIpD4J
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India vs New Zealand T20s schedule
The three-match T20 series between India and New Zealand
, 1st T20: February 6 at Westpac Stadium, Wellington. Toss at 12:00 PM IST, start at 12.30 PM IST.
for more details visit:https://t.co/mMsiZJLNs3…/india-vs-new-zealand-t20-sched…/ pic.twitter.com/6Q27eLICOI
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Having featured in the Top 4 run-scorers in the ODI series, both of them would be looking to carry forward their good form in the T20Is as well. In the absence of regular captain Virat Kohli, India’s top-order is likely to be bolstered by the presence of wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant.
Not been part of the ODI series in Australia and New Zealand, Pant would be looking to make the most of this opportunity at the top of the order, something which even Dhawan mentioned about him during his interaction with the media.
Out of the 10 T20Is that he has played, Pant has batted thrice at No. 3. While he made his T20I debut in February 2017. The first time he batted at No. 3 was five months after his debut and was given chances at the same position after an eight-month gap twice. Having said that, this series is most likely to give him three such chances to prove his mettle in the given format.
2) Middle-order – The first T20I will be one of the rare matches where India will play three wicket-keeper batsmen in the same playing XI. Apart from Pant, India are also likely to play both Dhoni and Karthik. Agreed that Dhoni found his lost form last month and is certain to board the flight to England, he still should not be rested in the matches leading to the World Cup.
Similarly, it would be unfair on Karthik if he is not given as many chances as Pant for one of them is likely to make it to England. For someone who has won matches for India in the recent past, Karthik is usually the one who is left out when it comes to trying other players.
All-rounder Kedar Jadhav, who last played a T20I against Australia at Guwahati in 2017, should continue with his role from the ODI team. India also have the option of playing Krunal Pandya in his place at No. 6.
T20I series preview: https://t.co/28ftcDBaDT
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— BCCI (@BCCI) February 5, 2019
The team will also be relieved to have Hardik Pandya back in the squad for it given them the cushion of playing both their wrist-spinners in Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav.
3) Bowlers – As mentioned above, there are not many reasons why India shouldn’t field two wrist-spinners at Wellington tomorrow. Given how both of them have deceived the opposition batsmen in the ODI series, it would be silly to make one of them sit out.
In the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, India also can’t afford to drop pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar which leaves them with only one spot of a fast bowler. One out of Khaleel Ahmed or Siddarth Kaul will make it to the playing XI tomorrow.
Comparing their T20Is numbers, Ahmed had picked up six wickets in six matches at an average of 33.16, an economy rate of 8.65 and a strike rate of 23. On the other hand, in the two T20Is which Kaul has played, he has dismissed three batsmen at an average of 13, an economy rate of 6.50 and a strike rate of 12.
If India manage to resist their temptation of playing a left-arm pacer, Kaul should take the new ball alongside Bhuvneshwar Kumar at Wellington.