India brace for New Zealand vs T20I appetizer ahead of marquee Australia Test series
India are up for a T20 appetizer ahead of their marquee Test series against Australia against New Zealand in the three-match series starting in Ranchi on Friday. With less than two weeks left for the Border Gavaskar Trophy matches against Australia that will determine India’s World Test Championship final fate, a T20I series may seem purposeless amid a busy ODI calendar ahead of the 50-over World Cup . As a result, Hardik Pandya, who led the side to a 2-1 series win over Sri Lanka earlier this month, is leading the T20I squad with a few regulars and minor players in the squad.
Captains Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Mohammed Siraj and Mohammed Shami are being rested, while Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan and Kuldeep Yadav have been given an extended break before they assemble for the Test series camp in Nagpur from February. Will get runs. 2.
Also welcome is attacking Mumbai opener Prithvi Shaw, who has returned to the team on the back of impressive performances in domestic cricket including a record-breaking 379 against Assam in the Ranji Trophy.
It is more than a year since the 23-year-old last played for India in July 2021 – and it remains to be seen whether Pandya is tempted to stick to his set opening combination of Gill and wicket-keeper batsman Ishan Kishan.
Gill has been in the form of his life, especially in ODIs where he has scored a career-best 208 in the last four innings with two centuries.
When it comes to the T20 format, the flamboyant Punjab batsman can seem a bit difficult but he has shown that he has all the shots to cement the opening slot.
In such a situation, it has to be seen how Pandya makes room for the dynamic Shaw as he may have to wait for his chance.
Suryakumar also had a quiet ODI series against New Zealand but the 360-degree batsman becomes a dangerous unit when it comes to the T20 format as he will relish the challenge and get back into the groove ahead of the Test series.
While the batting looks settled, it is the bowling department that might demand some attention.
Left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh, who returned from injury, was in the eye of the storm in the series against Sri Lanka. He plundered 37 runs in two overs as India lost the T20I in Pune, their only reversal in a 2–1 series win. He would like to come up with a clean show.
But there was also a bright spot in the bowling department with Shivam Mavi making an impressive debut with 4/22.
Mavi bowled with pace and the way he clean bowled Pathum Nissanka is still fresh in the mind. The speedster will look to form a potent combination with Umran Malik.
In the last ODI, India got a chance to see ‘Kul-Cha’ after a long time, but in the T20s, India may worry about the inclusion of either Kuldeep Yadav or Yuzvendra Chahal.
Chahal has been the preferred option across formats and it remains to be seen whether the leg-spinner holds up in the absence of Axar Patel.
India have been at their best in ODIs, they will be hoping for some comeback from the Mitchell Santner-led Kiwis in the T20 stage.
Left-handed batsman Devon Conway showed his dominance with a 100-ball 138 for the Black Caps as they gave India a run for their money in their defense of 386 in Indore.
Michael Bracewell was also in consistent form with 188 runs in three matches as they would look to carry the momentum into the T20 stage.
Teams (from) India: Hardik Pandya (c), Suryakumar Yadav (vc), Ishan Kishan (wk), Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik, Shivam Mavi and Mukesh Kumar.
New Zealand: Mitchell Santner (c), Finn Allen, Michael Bracewell, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway (wk), Dane Cleaver (wk), Jacob Duffy, Lockie Ferguson, Benjamin Lister, Daryl Mitchell, Glenn Phillips (wk), Michael Rippon, Henry Shipley, Ish Sodhi and Blair Tickner.
(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and was auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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