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New Zealand v India 2nd T20I Preview: Tiny Eden Park awaits another run-fest

Ross Taylor
Ross Taylor
©Action Images via Reuters/Jason Cairnduff

The toss will be crucial at Auckland's Eden Park on Sunday as small boundaries and dew in the second-half make it a brilliant chasing ground.


Venue - Eden Park, Auckland

Start time - 06:50 AM GMT | 07:50 PM LOCAL | 12:20 PM IST

Head to Head record in T20Is -  New Zealand: 8 India: 4 Tied: 0 No Result: 0

Weather - Partly Cloudy, 25°C, Precipitation: 10%, Humidity: 70%, Wind: 26 km/h

 Even 230 not a safe score

]As per reports, the second T20I will also be played on the same strip which saw 200 + runs being scored by both teams on Friday. Generally, the pitch slows down a bit in such a case but the one in Eden Park did not show any signs of slowing down as the game progressed. Hence, another high-scoring match is expected. 

Being their home venue, New Zealand will already be aware and adept to the strange dimensions at the Eden Park. With India having played a series here last year and the first T20I, the visitors will also have a fair idea of the dimensions of the ground and the scoring areas.

One doubts that even if New Zealand had scored 230 runs on Friday, they would have won the game. Given the short boundaries and a batting beauty, the team batting first would probably require 250 to have the confidence of not losing the game.

Toss holds the key


The toss will play a crucial role in this match, like it did in the series opener. Both India and New Zealand were almost at par with each other in all the three departments. But, it was the toss that made the real difference.

There is little doubt in one's mind that had New Zealand chased, they would have won the game. With almost everything in favour of the batsmen, it becomes really tough even for the best bowlers in the business to stop the batsmen when they have a given required run rate in front of them at this venue.

Veteran batsman Ross Taylor said in the post-match press conference that the venue got some due in the first T20I which is generally not the case. Hence, the team batting second will get an added advantage. The ball will not only not grip as much in the surface but the cutters and other change-ups from the pace bowlers will also become less effective and the ball will come on to the bat quite nicely

Navdeep Saini in for Shardul Thakur

Just one game into the series, both teams are not expected to make a lot of changes to their playing XI. The one change that India will make is replacing Shardul Thakur with Navdeep Saini. Saini might have been part of the starting XI had he not been suffering from a horrible jetlag.

Shardul Thakur does give the option of swinging the ball first up but that did not happen on Friday. With extra pace and accurate yorkers, Saini is expected to make the cut.

Scott Kuggeleijn an option for New Zealand

New Zealand would think hard to gauge where they went wrong on Friday, as they were pretty much on point sans their fielding. While there is not much scope for tinkering with the batting, one change that they can think of is bringing pacer Scott Kuggeleijn, who has a good record at the death. But, it would be tough on any bowler whom he replaces.

Hamish Bennett impressed with his pace while Blair Tickner bowled a couple of good slower deliveries. Ish Sodhi could have been an option but he was the highest wicket-taker for the Kiwis on Friday. If they consider Kuggeleijn at all, it might be in place of Tickner.

Here's a look at the probable playing XI of both teams:

New Zealand - Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Tim Seifert (wk), Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Blair Tickner, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Hamish Bennett

India - Rohit Sharma, Lokesh Rahul (wk), Virat Kohli (c), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah


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