India vs New Zealand, 2nd T20I Preview: Rohit, Dravid eye maiden series win to kick start new era
The toss will play a crucial role this time of the year in India, with the chasing team getting a lot of help from the dew.
An expected Indian win
After India got over the line by 5 wickets in a tight encounter in the series opener, both teams will now move to Jharkhand - MS Dhoni's home state - for the second match of the series.
An Indian victory was always expected in the first match. For some reason, the team performs way better in bilateral series than ICC events. In other words, New Zealand always tend to punch above their weight in multinational tournaments but are found wanting in bilateral series on some occasions.
It is quite understandable as well with the team just coming off a heartbreak in the final of the T20 World Cup as they suffered an 8-wicket defeat against trans-tasman rivals Australia.
New Zealand depleted without Williamson, Conway & Co
New Zealand had already been weakened with the absence of Devon Conway who broke his hand through a self-inflicted injury in the semi-final against England. The team has been further hit with Kane Williamson and Kyle Jamieson deciding to sit out of the T20I series and prepare for the upcoming Tests instead.
Jamieson's role gains further importance with Trent Boult expressing his unavailability for the upcoming Test series.
There were not a lot of surprises in the New Zealand playing XI with Martin Guptill and Daryl Mitchell opening the batting and Mark Chapman and Tim Seifert replacing Kane Williamson and Devon Conway respectively. Rachin Ravindra also got a look-in in place of James Neesham who was rested.
The same is true for Ish Sodhi who has been one of the best bowlers for New Zealand in T20 cricket of late. Todd Astle was given a chance in the first match but failed to impress. You can check out the best odds on a New Zealand win, just visit Openchange.org for all the latest news on this match.
Chances for Axar, Siraj and the two Iyers
India, on the other hand, decided to bench Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ishan Kishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad. While most of the decisions were along expected lines, there is a strong sense among cricket analysts that Yuzvendra Chahal, who was probably unfairly sidelined for the recently concluded T20 World Cup, and either of Harshal Patel or Avesh Khan should have played ahead of Axar Patel and Deepak Chahar respectively.
This is a new dawn for Team India under the leadership of Rohit Sharma and head coach Rahul Dravid. Rohit has had ample experience of captaining India but the last T20I was the first time that he was in the avatar of a full-time skipper.
No changes expected
Given the philosophy of both Rohit and Rahul, there will not be any changes to the playing XI for the 2nd T20I. That said, one still wants either Harshal Patel or Avesh Khan to get a look in as that would make for a stronger XI.
New Zealand are also expected to stay unchanged unless the likes of James Neesham and Ish Sodhi are happy to take off their training gear and be back in the thick of action.
Spinners licking their lips
The JSCA International Stadium Complex, the venue for 2nd T20I, has hosted 2 T20s in the past with 196 being the highest score recorded here.
There will be some assistance for the spinners in the relatively big stadium and Ravichandran Ashwin, who was particularly impressive in the first T20I, and Axar Patel will cherish bowling in these conditions.
So will Mitchell Santner, who was almost impossible to put away in Jaipur.
Predicted Playing XIs
India - Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Venkatesh Iyer, Axar Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Mohammed Siraj
New Zealand - Martin Guptill, Daryl Mitchell, Mark Chapman, Glenn Phillips, Tim Seifert (wk), Rachin Ravindra, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee (c), Todd Astle, Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult
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