Date & Time: Friday, January 24, 12:20 IST
Venue: Eden Park, Auckland, New Zealand
India look to resolve most of their problems in a long New Zealand summer
India are set to play their 1st of the five T20I match series against New Zealand, which is the first ever time India are playing a 5 match bi-lateral series. What better opportunity to have a quick check of all the departments for the big event later this year that will be played in similar conditions. However, India will be facing against their worst foes when it comes to T20s. They have a win% of 27.3 against New Zealand which is the lowest when compared with any other.
On the other hand New Zealand also haven’t had a great home run since 2018. In the five series they have played in this time frame they have lost three of them, out of those two series win one was against India. New Zealand will be looking to bounce back from a humiliating white wash when they toured India.
With Shikhar injured and ruled out of the series, Rahul yet again will be seen as an opener and the question is will they opt for Pant or go with an extra batsman like Manish. As for New Zealand the return of Williamson will be a great boost and he is expected to regain the captaincy from Southee. Williamson wasn’t a part of the T20I unit post the home series against India in 2019.
India Probable XI: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul (wk), Virat Kohli (c), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shardul Thakur/Navdeep Saini, Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah.
New Zealand Probable XI: Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Tim Seifert (wk), Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Scott Kuggeleijn, Hamish Bennett.
The first two T20Is are to be played at Auckland on 24th and 26th of January. Eden Park has always been a batting friendly wicket, with smaller diameter bowlers have to be precise with their length and line. The highest chase of 244 by Australia in T20I was also at this venue, the average 1st innings score at this venue is 172 and average 1st innings winning score to be around 190. The ratio of wins for batting 1st and batting 2nd has been equal at this venue, 9 times teams batting first have won and 7 times teams batting 2nd, interestingly there has been three tied matches in the 19 played here. Tomorrow’s condition is expected to be cloudy overhead and a bit of rain is also predicted in Auckland.
Rahul’s white ball future has taken a new turn and has doubled his responsibility. With a PPM of 69.5 in the last three months, no wonder he is one of the most favorites in the fantasy team. His batting has been exceptional in the last few months piling runs at will, over it he now has a added dependency of wicket keeping as well. he has an MDTA of 1.25 which shows he is a consistent member of the fantasy team.
The Indian skipper had a sensational 2019 that he will be looking to carry forward this year as well. With the world cup around his form will be one of the confidence booster for the team. Kohli has a PPM of 67.5 in the last three months which is the 2nd best among all the players for both the sides, he also has an MDTA of 1.25 which makes him an imperative choice.
The New Zealand dashing opener had a great season of Super Smash 2019-20 where he scored over 400 runs at a good strike rate of 142, he was the 2nd highest run scorer. Guptill would be looking to carry forward the same form against a team which he has struggled. He has PPM of 58.9 in the last three months and an MDTA of 1.25, he is definitely a hot pick in the fantasy team.
The left arm spinner is coming on back off one of his best T20I year with 20 wickets, in the 12 innings he bowled he was wicket-less in only two innings. His performance has been proportionate to his points in the fantasy team, his PPM of 65.2 is one of the best among the New Zealand players in the last three months also he has been a part of the dream team in all the T20 matches he has played in the last three months.