New Zealand vs India, 2nd T20I – New Zealand Predicted Playing XI

New Zealand vs India, 2nd T20I – New Zealand Predicted Playing XI

Will the Kiwis make any changes to their line-up?

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

Even though they were overpowered in the ODI series, the New Zealand cricket team kicked the T20I series off on an authoritative note. Their approach of ‘going out there and playing hard’ worked wonders for the team in the first T20I against India. The Kiwis outshined the ICC No. 2 T20I side by a mammoth 80 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

As it seemed from the previous game, the New Zealand side looks to be greatly balanced. Starting from an aggressive pair of openers, a stable middle-order to good finishers towards the end, the batting department looks sorted. Moreover, the bowlers have done exceedingly well to bowl the opposition out for just 139 runs on a batting-friendly track. Yet, there is one change the management will be pondering over.

Here is the Predicted Playing XI for New Zealand:

Openers (Tim Seifert (wk), Colin Munro)

Tim Seifert played 8 T20Is before the last game. In the seven innings where he had an opportunity to bat, he only managed to score 42 runs. However, an injury to Martin Guptill turned out to be a blessing in disguise for him. He had the opportunity to open the innings and truly blew the opposition away. He hit the ball to every nook and corner of the park as he put up 84 runs off 43 balls to give the side a terrific start.

Colin Munro has to be commended for easing the pressure on Seifert early on. He played in the style of cricket on which he is capable of playing. The left-hander smashed 34 runs off 20 balls making the maximum utilisation of the powerplay. The goal for him will be to stay in the middle a bit longer and he could end up being brutal.

Middle Order (Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor)

Ideally, Kane Williamson should continue batting at number three. He looked extremely good in the first game. However, he got out after scoring 34 off 22 balls due to a poor shot selection. It is important for the Kiwi skipper to use his class rather than rely on power-hitting. Also, getting out after a good start has been the biggest concern for him over the last four or five months. He’d be looking forward to addressing this issue soon.

Ross Taylor was a brilliant act in the last match. He came in towards the end of the innings and did well in upping the ante. The six that he hit over the point was one of the biggest highlights of the innings. However, he tried to overdo shuffling across and trying to hit over the mid-wicket region. Taylor should try to avoid doing this often as the Indian bowlers are sure to outfox him if this is the ploy.

All Rounders (Daryl Mitchell, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Scott Kuggeleijn)

There are plenty of all-rounders in the New Zealand side. Daryl Mitchell didn’t have a great debut with the bat even though he looked good with the ball. He might get another chance considering that he fell victim to a great catch by Dinesh Karthik. Colin de Grandhomme, time and again, failed to prove his worth in the team. His batting has hardly been up to the mark.

Irrespective of all the big-hitting reputation that he’s got, he might have to make way for James Neesham. It was surprising to see Neesham omitted for the eleven in the previous match. He looked great in the fifth ODI and is a must in the side. He is more than capable of taking the game away from the opposition within no time.

Mitchell Santner and Scoot Kuggeleijn will be the other two all-rounders in the team. Santner was great with the ball in the hand as he picked up the dangerous scalps of Vijay Shankar and Rishabh Pant. Scott Kuggeleijn is one of the cleanest hitters of the cricket ball in the New Zealand team. He should surely be slotted higher up the order. Even though he had a forgetful outing with the ball, he is expected to come back stronger.

Bowling (Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson)

New Zealand team doesn’t have many options to consider in the bowling department. Apart from the above mentioned three players, Doug Bracewell is the only other option available. But, after watching the performance of the bowling troika in the last game, all thoughts about exploring the other options would have been quashed.

Tim Southee picked up three wickets in the first T20I while Ish Sodhi and Lockie Ferguson accounted for two scalps each. These three are fairly experienced in the shortest format of the game and are a great asset to the team. All of them will continue in the eleven unless there is an injury. The management will back them to bring out the same kind of performance in the 2nd T20I as well so that they can seal the series.

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