Host, India goes up against the mighty Kiwis, in the opening match of the ICC World T20 at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium, Nagpur on Tuesday. Both of the cricketing giants will be looking to start the campaign off with a win. Let’s take have a look at the five things one would be expecting from the contest.
1. India Looking To Register First Win Against NZ in T20s
New Zealand will take a cue from the fact that they have never lost to India in a T20 international game. The two teams have only met each other five times in the T20 format. Out of the five turns, NZ has won 4 matches while one was abandoned without a single ball being bowled. India has had a fantastic year so far with back to back wins. This is one setback India will be looking to get ahead of.
2. India starting off as tournament favourites
India is currently the best T20 team as per the ICC rankings. Their record of remaining unbeaten in the last seven matches is something that gives them the edge over New Zealand. The Indian side is bustling with young energy and has some of the most impactful players on their side. Given the current form and home conditions, India will be a really hard beat.
3. Virat vs. NZ Pace Attack
India’s star performer, Kohli is in red hot form. The top order batsman has been playing consistently well irrespective of the opposition and the conditions. Virat played magnificently against the Pakistani pace bowling prodigy, Mohd. Amir, recently in the Asia Cup. While the other Indian batsmen might falter while playing deliveries above 140 kmph, Virat is India’s safest bet against the hefty Kiwi pace attack. It will be hugely entertaining to watch him go up against the dynamic duo of Trent Boult and Tim Southee.
4. Kane Williamson vs. Indian Spinners
Kane Williamson is to New Zealand, what Virat is to India. The Kiwi star batsman is the one player New Zealand will be banking on. Williamson, although specialises against pace but can play significantly well against quality spin as well. With Ashwin, Jadeja and sometimes Yuvraj, India is well equipped with wicket taking spinners. It will be really exciting to see Williamson and co performing against the extremely diverse Indian bowling line up.
5. Indian Batsmen Up Against Southee-Boult
A lot has been said about the effectiveness of Trent Boult and Tim Southee. Sir Richard Hadlee recently made a statement claiming that the bowling pair is the best that New Zealand cricket has ever seen. If the two live up to the expectations, India has a major reason to be worried about. Indian batsmen have a history of stumbling against pure pace which New Zealand will definitely be looking forward to using against India.