Will Start from BCCI’s Tweet

The clock is ticking towards the 2020 ICC World T20 to be held in October this year, and Virat Kohli and Co will once again have their task cut out as their two-month-long stint in New Zealand gets underway with the five-match T20 series, starting with the first at Auckland’s Eden Park on Friday. While the gulf between the two teams is not that huge in terms of the T20 rankings with India fifth and New Zealand sixth, the Black Caps hold a far more favourable head-to-head record, having won eight out of the 12 matches. India have won thrice with one match ending in no result.

The Men in Blue are coming fresh off an inspired 2-1 comeback victory over Australia in the recently-held ODI series, but losing Shikhar Dhawan to an injury has been a huge blow, ahead of India’s tour of New Zealand. However, this provides an opportunity for the likes of Shreyas Iyer, Shardul Thakur among few others on their debut trip to New Zealand to make a statement and potentially seal berths for the mega event in Australia this year. While New Zealand’s top-order batting boasts of captain Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor and Martin Guptill, their bowling department is slightly young when compared to India’s, with Tim Southee, who has played 65 T20Is leading the pack. Ish Sodhi is the only other experienced bowler while Hamish Bennett returns to the senior national set-up after three years.

India vs New Zealand (IND vs NZ) 1st T20 2020 Squad, Schedule, Venue, Players List:

Preparations for the World Cup on top of their agenda, India will take on an injury-hit New Zealand in a rare five-match T20 International series starting on Friday during which seam-friendly wickets would be a major challenge for the visitors. Unlike most overseas tours, this will be a quick start for the Indian team. In a tight season, the first T20 comes only five days after their last ODI against Australia at home. The team arrived in Auckland on Tuesday and chose to rest on Wednesday. Thursday was when they hit the nets ahead of the tour-opening game. On the plus side, this hectic schedule helps the team management maintain consistency in team selection as they continue experimenting across the available squad in a World Cup year. The T20 World Cup 2020 is scheduled to be held in Australia in October this year. Despite the recent good record in the shortest format, there is a downbeat mood in the hosts’ dressing room thanks to the 3-0 shellacking received in Australia over the past month. It hasn’t helped matters that the disappointing loss to their trans-Tasman rivals has raised questions about Kane Williamson’s future as captain.

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Content Source: firstpost.com & indianexpress.com

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