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India tour of New Zealand: Preview, Match Schedule, Team Squads and Series Predictions

New Zealand's Kane Williamson shakes hands with India's Virat Kohli

The last time India toured New Zealand for the limited-overs leg, they comprehensively beat the Black Caps 4-1 in the ODIs but suffered a 1-2 defeat in the T20 games, with the last match going right down to the wire.

The best part about the T20I series between India and New Zealand is that this is a 5-match series and not one of those 3-match affairs. This will allow both teams to test their players and have an idea of their prowess in this format.

Another advantage of a longer series such as this is that there is an opportunity for a team to come back despite trailing by one or two defeats, which is not always the case in a short 3-match series.

In the last ODI series between the two teams, Indian spinners were their trump card and affected multiple Kiwi batting collapses. The team would expect their tweakers to rise to the occasion once again.

However, a dampener for the series is the multiple injuries to Kiwi players, which has certainly depleted the strength of the hosts.

Lockie Ferguson was ruled out of the Australia Test series due to a right calf muscle-tendon strain. Trent Boult, after recovering from a rib injury, fractured his hand in the same series. Tom Latham broke his finger while Matt Henry broke his thumb.

If this was not enough, Doug Bracewell is not available for selection due to a knee injury. Will Young is suffering from a shoulder injury. Adam Milne has a twisted ankle while Seth Rance is suffering from a Achilles tendon injury.

To put more pressure on the already depleted Black Caps, mind games have already begun from the Indian camp.

"The thing about playing away is if you're able to put the home team under pressure, you can enjoy your cricket. You have to win at home, there's that sort of feeling. So if you bring out your A game, you can really put them under pressure," Kohli said after India beat Australia 2-1.

"That's what we did last year, squeezed them in the middle overs, picked up wickets, spinners were outstanding. Looking forward to taking that same intensity into the series," he added.

India have gone in with a pretty similar squad which took on West Indies at home. The team is coming off a 2-1 ODI victory against a strong Australian side and will be high on confidence. They were expectant of the return of all-rounder Hardik Pandya on the tour but that could not happen. Pandya is still expected to be back for the ODIs.

In the absence of many of their leading men, New Zealand would look towards their senior players Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson and Tim Southee to take the onus. 

Spinners Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi, wicketkeeper Tim Seifert and all-rounder Colin de Grandhomme will also have to play a big role if the Black Caps have to make an impact in this series.

The five-match T20I series will be followed by three ODIs and two Test matches.


Series Predictions

 Winner -  India (4-1)

Top Run Scorer -  Rohit Sharma (India), Martin Guptill (New Zealand)

Top Wicket Taker -  Jasprit Bumrah (India), Mitchell Santner (New Zealand)

Most Sixes - Rohit Sharma (India), Tim Seifert (New Zealand)

Here are the squads of both teams:

New Zealand's T20I Squad: Kane Williamson (C), Hamish Bennett, Martin Guptill, Scott Kuggeleijn, Daryl Mitchell, Colin Munro, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (WK), Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Blair Tickner, Tom Bruce (matches 4-5) Colin de Grandhomme (matches 1-3)

India's T20I squad: Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma (VC), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (WK), Shivam Dube, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Navdeep Saini, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur


Here's the complete schedule of the series:


India tour of New Zealand 2020  3 ODIs, 2 Tests, 5 T20Is  Jan 24-Mar 04

Jan 24 New Zealand v India, 1st T20I Eden Park, Auckland 7:00 AM

Jan 26 New Zealand v India, 2nd T20I Eden Park, Auckland 7:00 AM

Jan 29 New Zealand v India, 3rd T20I Seddon Park, Hamilton 7:00 AM

Jan 31 New Zealand v India, 4th T20I Westpac Stadium, Wellington 7:00 AM

Feb 02 New Zealand v India, 5th T20I Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui 7:00 AM

Feb 05 New Zealand v India, 1st ODI Seddon Park, Hamilton 2:00 AM

Feb 08 New Zealand v India, 2nd ODI Eden Park, Auckland 2:00 AM

Feb 11 New Zealand v India, 3rd ODI Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui 2:00 AM

Feb 21 Fri - Feb 25 New Zealand vs India, 1st Test Basin Reserve, Wellington 10:30 PM (Feb 20)

Feb 29 Sat - Mar 04 New Zealand vs India, 2nd Test Hagley Oval, Christchurch 10:30 PM (Feb 28)

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