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1st T20I: India eye another triumph against New Zealand

WELLINGTON: They have hit the homestretch of a memorable three-month excursion and a rampant India will probably be fancying some other series win when they clash with underneath power hosts New Zealand in the opening T20 International on Wednesday.

While common skipper Virat Kohli is getting the much-needed relaxation, the Rohit Sharma-led squad will probably be hoping it has enough left in the tank to report a maiden T20 series win in New Zealand, following a report 4-1 result in ODIs and a historical excursion of Australia.

"We too are humans and our bodies need a bit of rest. Of course, we would be looking to the win the series and carry the momentum back home for the Australia series," opener Shikhar Dhawan said at the eve of the sport.

The preceding ODI series solved a part of the puzzle as India glance to finalise their 15 for the World Cup. But there are still a couple of spots up for grabs and the T20 series can help the group control 0 in at the squad for the mega event in England in May-July.

Young wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant, who was not a part of the ODIs, returns hungrier and has a large alternative to stake a declare for a World Cup spot in the upcoming three T20s.

Veteran Mahendra Singh Dhoni is back in the T20 mix after being omitted from the series in opposition to Australia ultimate year and his efficiency may also be keenly followed. He ultimate performed a T20 in July.

Following the prime of the Test series Down Under, some other stellar appearing would possibly just persuade the selectors to incorporate Pant in the final-15.

The series is also an opportunity for Dinesh Karthik, who has performed well as a finisher however continues to be not a certain starter in the eleven. Ambati Rayudu grabbed his likelihood with a match-winning 90 in the fifth ODI, almost certainly enough to seal a place in the middle-order.

Nineteen-year-old Shubman Gill confirmed glimpses of his much mentioned skill in the final two ODIs however did not allow himself to settle in his debut series. In Kohli's absence, he would possibly get to bat at number three again.

Besides Pant, the others who've joined the group are spin all-rounder Krunal Pandya and Punjab pacer Siddharth Kaul.

In the absence of seniors like Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammad Siraj and Khaleel Ahmed have not made much of an have an effect on and they are going to be aiming for a step forward efficiency.

Dhawan did not do well in the ultimate three ODIs in opposition to New Zealand and is eager to finish the excursion on a prime.

Ahead of the sport, he was also noticed practicing with a tennis ball to counter the bounce and swing generated by way of the house group's pacers.

New Zealand will probably be desperate to show issues round after a 1-4 drubbing. They do grasp an upper hand over India in the shortest format. They beat India 2-0 in the 2008-09 in the sole bilateral series performed on New Zealand soil till date.

The Black Caps edged the sub-continental aspect 1-0 in a two-match away series in 2012 earlier than losing 1-2 in India in 2017-18.

The ball swung to start with at the Westpac Stadium on Sunday and New Zealand pacers will probably be itching to milk that however they would possibly not have the services and products of premier fast bowler Trent Boult, who has been rested.

It will probably be fascinating to see what rookie all-rounder Daryl Mitchell and pacer Blair Tickner do of their debut series.


India: Rohit Sharma (Capt.), Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni, Krunal Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul, Khaleel Ahmed, Shubman Gill, Vijay Shankar, Hardik Pandya, Mohammad Siraj

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (Capt.), Doug Bracewell, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Scott Kuggeleijn, Colin Munro, Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Blair Tickner, James Neesham

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