Match Preview – India vs New Zealand, India at New Zealand 2022/23, 2nd T20I

After a washout in Wellington, the three-match T20I series between New Zealand and India has been reduced to a two-match affair. But apart from that, and the change of venue to Mt Maunganui, something else has changed. In fact, rain is forecast for the second T20I as well.

India will, for the foreseeable future, look to find batsmen who are naturally suited to T20 cricket, rather than asking some to bat against their natural style. The series will also be another audition for skipper Hardik Pandya, who is being talked about as a potential future leader in the shortest format. However, they are now one game short of all that.
It is difficult to predict whether New Zealand is better or worse when it comes to power hitting. They have got Finn Allen at the top and Glenn Phillips in the middle order, but Dion Conway and Kane Williamson are both batting in anchor mode. What the hosts will want from this series is Williamson to find fluidity, and Allen to find consistency.
The Bay Oval is sold out for Sunday’s game. Once upon a time, it used to be a reasonably large ground but not anymore. As local boy Ash Sodhi said, “If I can clear the batting rope at No. 8 or 9, I don’t think the top six will have any problem doing it.” So expect a high-scoring game, provided the rain stays away.

New Zealand LWLWW (last five complete T20Is, most recent first)

Ken Williamson The past one year has not been a good time in T20 cricket. After a poor IPL, where he scored 216 runs at a strike rate of 93.50, his struggles continued in the T20 World Cup. While he scored 178 runs in five innings at the global event, his strike rate of 116.33 was again below par. Experts like Tom Moody and Stephen Fleming believe that Williamson is still valuable to the team, but the reality is that he needs to improve his strike rate.
India is still trying to figure out how best to take advantage. Rishabh Pant For someone who looks ready for T20 cricket in this format, not making it into the playing XI is troubling. In the middle order, he is expected to strike immediately but his first ten-ball strike rate of 112.94 paints a very different picture. He also opened in three games this year. Is this the role in which India wants to try him now?

Michael Bracewell and Blair Tickner could be out of New Zealand’s 13-man squad.

New Zealand (Probable): 1 Finn Allen, 2 Dion Conway (wicket), 3 Kane Williamson (captain), 4 Glenn Phillips, 5 Daryl Mitchell, 6 James Neesham, 7 Mitchell Santner, 8 Tim Southee, 9 Ash Sodhi, 10 Adam Milne, 11 Loki Ferguson

If Pant does not open and continues to bat in the middle order, Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson and Deepak Hooda will be left fighting for the same spot. Yuzvendra Chahal and one of Kuldeep Yadav are also likely to sit out.

India (Probable): 1 Ishan Kishan, 2 Shubman Gill, 3 Shreyas Iyer/Deepak Hooda, 4 Surya Kumar Yadav, 5 Rishabh Pant (wicket), 6 Hardik Pandya (captain), 7 Washington Sundar, 8 Harshal Patel, 9 Bhuvneshwar, 10 Kumar Arsdeep Singh, 11 Yuzvinder Chahal

The first innings average in the seven T20Is completed at the Bay Oval is 199. Spinners fared better in terms of economy rate, with 8.05 per over awarded against 9.65 for fast bowlers. The last T20I here, almost two years ago, was a washout, and the weather could play foul again.

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