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India vs New Zealand, 1st T20I Preview: New-look India seek revenge from T20 World Cup Runners-up

India  Virat Kohli speaks to New Zealand Kane Williamson at the recent T20 World Cup
India Virat Kohli speaks to New Zealand Kane Williamson at the recent T20 World Cup

New Zealand have proved to be an Achilles' heel for India in all the last three ICC events.

Live Scores and Stats - India vs New Zealand, 1st T20I 

India meet their nemesis

Under a new leadership group with Rohit Sharma as captain, KL Rahul as vice-captain and Rahul Dravid as the head coach, Team India is set to take a fresh start leaving behind their T20 World Cup disappointment. In front of them are familiar rivals in New Zealand who have troubled them a lot recently.

It was New Zealand who effectively knocked India out of the recently concluded T20 World Cup after the team lost comprehensively to the Kiwis following another big loss against arch rivals Pakistan.

Fresh scars

India's record has been tremendous against New Zealand in bilateral series, particularly in T20 International cricket but they haven't been able to get past the opponents in ICC events.

Following a heartbreaking semi-final in the ICC 2019 ODI World Cup, the team went down to the opponents in the final of the world test championship. The same result emerged in their recent clash in the T20 World Cup.

India were the favorites alongside England going into the World Cup but had a horrible start after they were comprehensively beaten by 10 wickets against arch rivals Pakistan in their first match of the competition.

The team was hoping to bounce back after a one-week break and get their World Cup campaign back on track but they met the formidable New Zealand who did not allow them to get going at any point in the match.

As a result, India were knocked out of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 Group 2 points table with 2 wins and 2 losses from their 4 matches of the Super 12 stage.

Rahul and Sharma in top form

KL Rahul was the top run-scorer for India with 194 runs at a strike rate of 152. He struck 19 fours and 7 sixes. Rohit Sharma made 174 runs at a strike rate of 151.

India's bowling was poor overall in the competition but part of the reason was that their batters did not put up runs on the board to give the bowlers a fair chance.

Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja, who were the team's highest wicket takers in the competition, have both been rested from the T20s to manage their workload.

Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel and Siraj to get a go

In their absence, Ravichandran Ashwin will be a key bowler for the side. India also have several incoming players like Deepak Chahar, Mohammed Siraj, Avesh Khan and Harshal Patel who will expect to be given an opportunity.

Avesh Khan and Mohammed Siraj are likely to be a part of the playing XI ahead of Deepak Chahar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Yuzvendra Chahal will replace Rahul Chahar. Axar Patel and Harshal Patel will come into the side in place of Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya respectively.

Runners-up New Zealand a well-rounded unit

New Zealand ended up at the 2nd spot in the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 Group 2 points table with 4 wins and one loss from their 5 matches of the Super 12 stage. They then beat England by 5 wickets in the semis before losing to Australia in the final.

Kane Williamson was top run-scorer for New Zealand with 216 runs at a strike rate of 115. He has struck 20 fours and 5 sixes. Martin Guptill and Daryl Mitchell also made 208 runs each.

Trent Boult was the best bowler for New Zealand and picked up 13 wickets while bowling at an average of 13 and an economy rate of 6.25.

New Zealand will be without Devon Conway who suffered a self-inflicted injury after breaking his hand in the semi-final against England. New Zealand will play Tim Seifert in his place as they did in the World Cup final.

Expect the Indian batters to come out swinging for the fences in a bid to exact revenge for the hard-hitting losses in recent times.

Predicted playing XIs

- KL Rahul (vc), Rohit Sharma (c), Suryakumar Yadav, Venkatesh Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Harshal Patel, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Avesh Khan, Mohammad Siraj

New Zealand - Martin Guptill, Daryl Mitchell, Kane Williamson (c), Tim Seifert (wk), Glenn Phillips, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Adam Milne, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult

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