New Zealand vs India, 1st T20I – New Zealand Predicted XI
Trent Boult has been rested by the Kiwis.
Updated - Feb 5, 2019 11:22 am
After a commanding start to the year, New Zealand have been thrashed by a strong Indian outfit in the ODI series. With the action now shifting to T20s, they will be hoping for some change in momentum. However, the Blackcaps haven’t had the best of times either in T20 cricket over the last year or so.
In fact, since the start of 2018, they have won just four games out of 14. They also had a six-game losing streak which was broken after the win against Sri Lanka last month. Like India, even they have a few new faces in the squad. The likes of Scott Kuggeleijn and Daryl Mitchell are a part of the team. They have rested Trent Boult while Martin Guptill has been ruled out due to injury. Hence, they will look to give some youngsters a chance in the shortest format.
Here is the Predicted XI for New Zealand:
Openers (Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (c))
Colin Munro hasn’t had the best of starts to 2019. In the eight limited-overs games he’s played this year, he has gone past the 50-run mark just once. However, seven of those were in the 50-over format. He thrives in T20 games and his record is excellent. In 2018, he amassed 500 runs at an average of 45.45 and a strike-rate of 178.57. He is one of the only two batsmen who have scored three centuries in the shortest format.
In the absence of Martin Guptill, skipper Kane Williamson will most likely open the batting. He blew hot and cold in the ODI series and will want to regain some form in this series. He also has a good record as an opener in T20Is. In fact, more than 60% of his career T20I runs have come while opening the batting.
Middle Order (Tim Seifert (wk), Ross Taylor, Daryl Mitchell)
Tim Seifert’s form has been patchy. He was New Zealand’s wicket-keeper in the limited-overs series against Sri Lanka when Tom Latham was rested. He hardly made an impact with the bat in that series and also didn’t have the best of Super Smash seasons as well. Hence, Northern Districts stumper will be looking to turn things around.
Ross Taylor has been New Zealand’s most reliable ODI batsman in the last 12 to 18 months. He’s had a decent T20 year as well. He made 191 runs at an average of 38.20 last year and contributed with a 33 against Sri Lanka in the lone T20 last month.
Daryl Mitchell might make his international debut. He has been in fine form in the Super Smash this season. The 27-year-old right-hander is the second highest run-getter this season with 318 runs at an average of 35.33 and a strike-rate of 140.08. He can also chip in with a couple of useful overs if needed.
All-Rounders (James Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Scott Kuggeleijn)
James Neesham is a late addition to the side as he comes in as a replacement for Martin Guptill who has been ruled out of the series. Neesham made a terrific comeback to international cricket in the series against Sri Lanka. He smashed the bowlers all around the park and also picked up wickets with his pace bowling as well.
Colin de Grandhomme also returns to the T20 side after he was rested against Sri Lanka. He played the last three ODIs against India but hasn’t hit his straps with the bat. He’s been good with the ball but he will be hoping he can turn it around with the bat as well. Scott Kuggeleijn made a very impressive debut in the format. He struck an unbeaten 15-ball 35 and then picked up 1/26 with the ball. Hence, he should retain his spot.
Bowlers (Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson)
After sitting out in the last four ODIs against India, Tim Southee will be back, leading the New Zealand bowling attack. In 2018, he finished with the most wickets for the Kiwis in the shortest format. Lockie Ferguson played three games in the recently-concluded ODI series but was far from impressive. However, he picked up 3/21 in the last T20I he played against Sri Lanka. Hence, he will partner Southee in the pace attack.
Ish Sodhi might turn out to be the lone spinner in this line-up. He had an excellent ODI and T20I series against Sri Lanka but couldn’t replicate the same against India. However, he should start in this first T20I at Wellington.