KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma
Image: Twitter

India and New Zealand are set to take on each other in the three-match T20 series. The first T20 international between the two teams is slated to take place on Wednesday, 17th September 2021.

New Zealand and India have previously met each other on 18 occasions in the shortest format. Both have had a neck-to-neck competition in T20 internationals. In 18 matches, India have won on 8 occasions, while New Zealand have managed to win 9 times.

IND vs NZ: Match Preview, New Zealand tour of India 2021, 1st T20I

India:

India vs England
Image Source: Twitter

India would be gutted to have made an early exit in the T20 World Cup 2021. Prior to the start of the tournament, the Men in Blue were labeled as the favorites. However, two defeats in the first two matches meant they failed to reach the semi-finals. India lost their second match of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 against New Zealand.

New Zealand have this habit of beating India in the ICC tournaments, however, when it comes to bilateral series, India do become a dangerous unit. Ahead of the first match of the three-match series against New Zealand, the Men in Blue will go into the contest as favorites.

 

They will have a new captain in Rohit Sharma and a new head coach in Rahul Dravid. It will be really interesting to see what template will India follow under a new leadership group. KL Rahul has been selected as the new vice-captain of the T20 team.

Both should open the innings in the first T20I against New Zealand. Virat Kohli has been rested for the series and Ishan Kishan is likely to take the number three spot, followed by Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, and Venkatesh Iyer. The latter will be playing his first T20I series and in the absence of Hardik Pandya, he is likely to play all three games. Besides, Shreyas Iyer also returns to the T20 squad, however, he might not make into playing XI for the first game.

Both Rahul Chahar and Venkatesh Iyer, who were part of the team in the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 have been excluded. Yuzvendra Chahal marks his return in the team, while Ravi Ashwin has been retained as well. The likes of Ravindra Jadeja, Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami have all been rested. It will be interesting to see who all makes into the eleven in the fast bowling department.

New Zealand:

Martin Guptill, New Zealand.
Martin Guptill, New Zealand. (Photo: Twitter)

New Zealand are coming into the tournament on the back of an impressing performance in the ICC T20 World Cup. 4 wins in 5 matches meant the Kane Williamson and Co. sealed their place for the semi-finals. They exhibited a spirit performance to beat England in the semi-final and book their place in the final. Unfortunately, New Zealand couldn’t play to their potential in the final and lost to Australia by 8 wickets.

Nevertheless, all that is a thing of the past, and New Zealand’s focus would now be on the upcoming series against India. For those you don’t know, Kane Williamson has opted to rest for the series and Tim Southee would lead the side.

New Zealand’s squad is much similar to the one played in the T20 World Cup. Bowling will be their strength, having got the likes of Trent Boult, Ferguson, Sodhi, and Santner. All of them have a pretty good record against India. However, bowling in the sub-continent conditions will be a challenge.

Daryl Mitchell and Martin Guptill should continue to open the innings. Devon Conway and Kane Williamson won’t be present in the middle-order due to different reasons, which is a big blow for the side. In their absence, the onus will be on the likes of Tim Siefert, Glenn Phillips and Jimmy Neesham.