Sunil Gavaskar leaves out MS Dhoni from India's playing XI for New Zealand T20I series

Sunil Gavaskar leaves out MS Dhoni from India’s playing XI for New Zealand T20I series

Gavaskar ended the conversation by predicting the outcome of the series, backing India to win it 2-1.

MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

All eyes are now on the forthcoming three-match T20I series between India and New Zealand after the five-match ODI series failed to live up to the expectations. While the series between the number two and three ODI teams promised to be a blockbuster, it turned out to be a lopsided contest with each game being one-way traffic. India eventually won the series 4-1. The focus now shifts to the T20Is, a format where New Zealand have the upper hand.

India will have their task cut out against the Kiwis in absence of their regular skipper Virat Kohli. Finding the right combination for the series-opener is a must and former India skipper Sunil Gavaskar believes the Men in Blue should leave out MS Dhoni from the playing eleven despite the wicketkeeper-batsman being in stunning form.

After a forgettable 2018, Dhoni hit the ground running this year. He slammed three fifties in the ODI series against Australia to guide India to their first bilateral series win on the Australian soil.  He scored 51, 55 and 87 in the three-match series to walk away with the Man of the Series award.

Even in the second ODI against New Zealand, he scored an unbeaten 48 in testing conditions.  However, Gavaskar, while speaking on Star Sports, felt that India should try out youngsters instead of Dhoni in order to give the veteran some rest before the home series against Australia later this month. Former New Zealand coach Mike Hesson was also on the show and he too felt that Dhoni should be given rest in the T2oIs.

Gavaskar’s batting lineup for T20I series is – Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Shubman Gill, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya.

Hesson further said that the upcoming series gives a “huge opportunity for Rishabh Pant and Dinesh Karthik to solve those World Cup decisions. We know MS Dhoni is going to be part of World Cup.”

Gavaskar ended the conversation by predicting the outcome of the series, backing India to win it 2-1.

India’s dismal record against Kiwis:

While India have more or less dominated New Zealand in Tests and ODIs in the last one decade or so, they have not enjoyed the same luck in T20Is. In fact, India had to wait for more than 10 years to beat New Zealand in T20I since the first meeting between the two teams in the 2007 World Cup. India registered their first win over New Zealand in T20Is when they won the home series 2-1 in 2017.  So far, India have played a total of nine T20I games against the Blackcaps winning only two matches.

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