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New Zealand vs India: 3 Indians to watch out for in the T20I series

The Indian team management needs to find out attacking middle-order batsmen and a partner for Jasprit Bumrah in the death.

Indian team
Indian team. (Photo Source: Twitter)

India completely bossed their last home season which ended just three days back. Against every team and in each format, India came on the top. The Men in Blue failed to win just one series this home season – T20 series against South Africa which resulted into the draw. Remaining invincible in the longest format, they lost five matches – three T20Is and two ODIs.

India’s team in the T20 side is slightly a concern, considering the vast pool of resources. The Indian team management needs to find out attacking middle-order batsmen and a partner for Jasprit Bumrah in the death. Whilst the auditions to fill the spots in the bowling department are in progress, India ain’t doing very a great job to build the middle-order. Now, India move to New Zealand to get a clearer picture, in a highly packed schedule.

The number five T20I side in the ICC rankings have failed to clinch a T20 series in two attempts in the Kiwi land. To better their record, the BCCI announced a full-strength squad for this tour. However, Hardik Pandya and Shikhar Dhawan are not part of the squad because of injury issues. This T20I leg will be crucial for the players whose place in the side isn’t cemented yet, as the T20 World Cup 2020 is just nine months away.

Here, we have featured three Indian players to watch out for in the T20I series against New Zealand:

1. Rishabh Pant

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant. (Photo by Pankaj Nangia/India Today Group/Getty Images)

Despite being fit and available in India’s last ODI, Rishabh Pant was not picked in the playing XI. Pant looked good in the home ODI series against the West Indies but was dropped. After the match, the Indian captain Virat Kohli confirmed in the press conference that India will stick with KL Rahul as wicket-keeper for a while. The question arises – will Pant play solely as a batsman in the T20 series? Ideally, he should be in India’s XI.

India already lack attacking batsmen in the middle-order, and dropping Pant won’t help India. Rishabh Pant is the best bet for that role and should be backed. As far as the selections for the international T20 team is concerned, the performance of players in the IPL is highly influential. The southpaw has been the best middle-order batsman for Delhi Capitals since the past couple of seasons.

The 22-year-old has failed to come up with the same returns at the international level, but some players take time in yielding the best results. Pant likes to play in New Zealand. In three matches in New Zealand, he has scored 72 runs with an average of 36, and a whopping strike rate of 144 – the best for him in any nation. The grounds of New Zealand have good batting surfaces, short boundaries, and will suit Pant. Therefore, the talented lad can have a breakthrough series.

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