The hosts will want to stop an opposition which is well equipped in the T20 format
The low-key practice session said it all. The New Zealand team came in full strength while India preferred optional training ahead of the opening encounter of the three-match T20 series starting here on Wednesday.
India has a poor T20 record against New Zealand — five losses in five matches. obviously would be on India to break the record. For Virat Kohli, it must rankle that New Zealand has looked invincible in a format that is accepted as the most popular form of the game in contemporary cricket.
Colin Munro said India has the strength. It must possess to stop an opposition which is well equipped and ready for a contest. “Everyone looks forward to playing T20. It’s a lot of fun and all the players enjoy it. We’ve been lucky enough in the last couple of years to be successful at it, so looking forward to the series. It should be a good one”.
excitement for all players
After some bitter competition in the one-day series, which India won 2-1, the shortest format is expected to generate greater excitement. The pitch and the outfield hold a lot of promise and it is best left to the players in either team to produce the desired entertainment.
It can be anyone’s day in T20s. Such is its nature that form and reputation hardly matter. A sweet little knock or a couple of wickets can swing the game and that attracts the fans to this version of cricket. The rising popularity of cricket in Test-playing nations is often attributed to the result-oriented action-drama that marks T20s.
Munro took stock of the impending engagements. “Obviously it’s nice to have a three-match series. It’s usually a one-off or two stalemate sort of a thing at the end, so [now] there’s plenty to play for. We’ve got a good record against India so we’re looking forward to this.”
Nehra Send off match
Would Ashish Nehra figure in the playing eleven was the most frequently asked question at the Kotla. He retires from all forms of the game after this match at his home ground. As the senior-most member of the team, he adds to the depth just as veteran M.S. Dhoni does in this youthful Indian team.
Hardik Pandya, with his free-flowing strokeplay, is the new crowd-puller in the team, but after Kohli and rohit. New Zealand too has a few. A run-feast on an amiable pitch awaits the cricket-loving citizens of the capital.
The teams (from): India: Virat Kohli (capt.), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, K.L. Rahul, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik, M.S. Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Ashish Nehra and Mohammed Siraj.
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (capt.), Ross Taylor, Trent Boult, Tom Bruce, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham (wk), Henry Nicholls, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi and Tim Southee.
Play starts at 7 p.m.