India vs New Zealand: First T20 Squads, Preview, and Predictions

India won the ODI series 2-1 in a closely contested round of matches. The competition is only bound to intensify in the shortest format of the game.


Overview 

India won the third ODI to clinch the series 2-1 in a thrilling encounter that went down to the wire. They now play 3 T20s against the Black Caps to conclude their tour.

India finally dropped Kedar Jadhav from the squad, bringing in KL Rahul, Mohammed Siraj, and Shreyas Iyer. New Zealand retain a larger percentage of players from their ODI team. The two sides have played some exciting cricket so far, with New Zealand coming close to being the first team to win a series against India away from home since late 2015. 

Squads

New Zealand

Kane Williamson (c), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Tom Bruce, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee.

India

Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Lokesh Rahul, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Mohammed Siraj.

Where the teams stand 

New Zealand

The Black Caps were so close, yet so far from victory. Tom Latham, who has been sensational in all three matches, came close to carrying his team to their second win of the series. His team has several positives to take away from the series. New Zealand have played spin excellently, the main factor behind their success in India. Their batsmen have also been consistent, taking the team to big scores in two of the three ODIs. The T20 format suits them even better, their lineup filled with batsmen who can pick up the scoring rate drastically. Colin de Grandhomme, in particular, can hit the ball a long way and must be promoted up the order. He will be the X-factor for New Zealand in this series.

Trent Boult, who was very successful in the first two ODIs, had a terrible outing in the third one, ending with a criminal economy of 8.1. However, he remains the key wicket taker for them in the T20s. Santner is another bowler who has been efficient this series. If these two can earn the Black Caps some early breakthroughs, New Zealand might well prove to be a lethal threat for the Indians

India

Kedar Jadhav being dropped by India is a great tactical move. India does not need a third finisher in the team, with Pandya and Dhoni also filling that role. They must reinforce their middle order with the free spot, an area that has been a huge liability for India recently. KL Rahul and Pandey seem most likely to replace Jadhav, both equally deserving of the spot. Though unlikely, India could also try out a different opening combination by choosing Iyer over Dhawan. Sharma and Dhawan could not get India off to stable starts, and a change might help them do so. 

Kohli might also consider replacing Patel with Yadav, considering that the former is a more successful wicket-taker despite his usually high economy. India also possesses arguably two of the best T2O bowlers in the world, Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah. Siraj will find it hard to break into this pace attack. Chahal has proved himself to be an effective wicket-taker over the past few series, rounding off an accomplished attack, one of the best in the world. Their bowling will be key to their chances of victory. 

Prediction 

India win. India have the momentum from the ODI series despite some good performances from the Kiwis, so they should have enough about them to carry on into this one.

Who do you think will get the win in this Twenty20 clash? Let us know in the comments below.

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Abhay Almal

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Just another fan of the gentleman's game with a quill and some ink, Abhay is a high school graduate who has spent a decade playing cricket on district and higher levels of the sport. Combining his passion for writing and playing led to him pursuing sports journalism as he prepares to major in Psychology.

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