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New Zealand vs India: Colin Munro expected to bat at number three in T20I series

Munro had a poor ODI series against India.

Colin Munro
Colin Munro of New Zealand. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

After getting slammed 1-4 in the ODI series at home, New Zealand are now a wounded tiger and are dying to roar back in the T20I series that kicks off in Wellington on Wednesday. In the ODIs, the Black Caps failed to get their act right except in the fourth encounter in Hamilton which they won by 8 wickets.

As a strategy to rattle the Indians early in the game, the Kiwis might send hard-hitter Colin Munro in the top three and the absence of Martin Guptill, who has been ruled out of the series because of an injury, could make it all the more important for Kane Williamson’s side to see Munro at the top. Munro has three hundreds in T20Is and a phenomenal strike-rate of 161-plus in the shortest format.

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New Zealand though are ranked quite a few notches down than India in the ICC rankings, they have a 6-2 lead over the Men in Blue in the head-to-head count in the shortest format of the game.

“Martin (Guptill) is ruled out of the series and we have a different squad altogether with some new faces. We want to balance with the number of all-rounders which will affect the positions. Munro is expected in the top three,” Williamson told reporters ahead of the first match.

The second and third T20I games will be played in Auckland and Hamilton on February 8 and 10, respectively. The women’s teams of both the nations will play at the same venue ahead of the men’s clash.

Making adjustments from one format to another is key, says Williamson

Williamson conceded that making the required adjustments when shifting from one format to another and setting the mindset is key ahead of the series. He also said that the T20I series against a strong opponent like India will be helpful in the run-up to the World Cup.

While all-rounder Jimmy Neesham replaced Guptill in the New Zealand squad, India are set to be captained by Rohit Sharma in the series in the absence of regular skipper Virat Kohli who has been rested.

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