New Zealand vs England: Three Kiwi players to watch out for in the T20I series

New Zealand vs England: Three Kiwi players to watch out for in the T20I series

These players will be keen to seal their position in the team ahead of the T20 World Cup next year.

New Zealand
New Zealand. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

New Zealand who were involved in the nail-biting finish in the 2019 World Cup final have begun their preparations for the T20 World Cup in 2020. Their first assignment after the mega event in England was against Sri Lanka. The Tim Southee-led side clinched the 3-match T20I series by 2-1 in the Island nation. Although the Blackcaps won the series, there are several things to ponder on in their T20 set-up, which were also highlighted in their last series.

As of now, they don’t have any match-winner apart from Colin Munro, who has been their best batsman since T20 World Cup 2016. Apart from Munro, none of their top six batsmen who have played at least 10 T20Is after WT20 2016 – has 30+ average and 130+ strike rate. Thus, the Blackcaps need to work on their batting unit with the likes of Glenn Phillips and Anton Devcich, who are better T20 bats as compared to others in the squad. Even in the bowling department, New Zealand do not have trustworthy options in the death overs.

With the regular skipper, Kane Williamson ruled out of the series due to a hip injury, it will be Southee who will continue to lead them. The Blackcaps will be up against the young England squad, in their own den. But it will take a top effort from the Blackcaps to reap positive results. The current squad of the hosts does not look very promising. However, there are still a few players to watch out for in this T20 leg.

In this slideshow, we have featured three Kiwis to watch out for in the T20I series:

Martin Guptill

Martin Guptill
Martin Guptill with the new T20I jersey. (Photo Source: Instagram)

Martin Guptill is one of the most prominent stalwarts for New Zealand is going through a rough patch. The last time he scored a 50 or more against a top-five team in any format, was in February 2018 – in an ODI against England. An out-of-form Guptill did not help New Zealand’s cause in the World Cup, and things do not look good enough in the shortest format too. Since March 2018, the opening batsman has bagged five ducks with only seven 50+ scores, in 33 T20 games.

Generally, players are the one to watch out for because of their good form, but the case is opposite for the Auckland-born. This series is going to be very crucial for Guptill’s career, as he has not looked in the best of the sorts for a while. There are many negatives for the dashing batsman, yet there are some positives too. The third-highest run-scorer in the international T20 cricket enjoys playing against England, especially in New Zealand.

Facing England in five matches at home, the 32-year-old has accumulated 255 runs with 40+ scores in all the innings. It is a perfect chance for the right-handed batsman to redeem himself and get his form back. When in flow, Guptill is capable of destroying any bowling attack with his stroke-play. The arrival of his form will also ensure that the Blackcaps have a fearsome opening pair – Martin and Munro.