After last year’s World Cup debacle in the UAE, India took an aggressive battling approach, but by the time the next edition came around, the top power proved wanting and failed to repel the attack on the opposition.
India found themselves running in circles as the wait for their first ICC trophy in nine years grew longer.
With the next global T20 event two years from now, India has plenty of time to identify the players and get them ready for an all-cost approach shown by England.
Hardik Pandya, who could lead the team in the next T20 showpiece, will captain the squad in the absence of Rohit Sharma.
Deputy head coach VVS Laxman has indicated that the management would like to add only T20 specialists to meet the demands of the modern game. While the focus has shifted to ODIs ahead of next year’s World Cup, India is looking to make the most T20 games here and the nine others they play for the 50-over mega event.
Although Virat Kohli had a sublime touch Down Under, Rohit and KL Rahul’s lack of “intention” in the power play was heavily criticized. There is a good chance that all three will not play the shortest format until the 2024 edition, which is why India needs to plan for the future.
Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill will be the likely openers for the first game here, but management may also give Rishabh pants another chance at the top of the order.
Although India fields a second-tier team in New Zealand, the team members still have a decent amount of international experience.
The highly acclaimed Gill, who rose to prominence four years ago for his exploits at the U-19 World Cup in New Zealand, is hoping to make his T20 debut here.
Kishan has already been tried out regularly at the top for the last 12 months and the series offers him a good chance to make a strong case for the team’s favorite opener.
TICK..TICK..BOOM 💥💥All charged for the #NZvIND T20I series opener#TeamIndia 🇮🇳 https://t.co/AsNSTeMqq8
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Sanju Samson has been given another chance and he would be desperate to make it count. The series also marks the return of Washington Sundar from his injury woes and he is expected to perform with both bat and ball.
A major reason for India’s T20 troubles was their inability to take wickets in the middle overs through finger spinners. The New Zealand games would feature the wrist spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahalwhose exclusion from the World Cup XI stunned many.
India also needs a fast bowler in addition to Jasprit Bumrah and Umran Malik seems to be their best choice on that front. He didn’t have the best time on his first tour of Ireland and England and will aim for more accuracy, without compromising the raucous pace.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Arshdeep Singh are expected to share the new ball, just like in Australia. Harshal Patel, who warmed up the bench during the World Cup, and Mohammad Siraj, could also get a match later in the series.
New Zealand, on the other hand, will field an almost full squad led by Kane Willamson. Like India, they too would suffer another defeat in a World Cup knockout match and bounce back strongly.
The Black Caps will also try out fast bowlers in the absence of Trent Boult, who is unlikely to play all games after opting out of a central contract. Opener Martin Guptill also missed it with Finn Allen joining Devon Conway at the top.
Williamson’s pass rate was also called into question at the ICC event and he would aim to return to his free-flowing best.
Did someone say photo shoot of captains? 📸That’s some entry! 😎 #TeamIndia | #NZvIND https://t.co/TL8KMq5aGs
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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
India: Hardik Pandya (c), Rishabh Pant, Ishan Kishan, Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas IyerSanju Samson, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Harshal Patel, Mohammed SirajBhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik