India vs New Zealand: India’s predicted XI for 1st T20 – Pant, Khaleel to return
India vs New Zealand: Here’s a look at the predicted XI for the Indian team for the first T20 in WellingtonUpdated: Feb 06, 2019 08:36 IST
After a comprehensive 4-1 win in the five-match ODI series against New Zealand, India will be eager to repeat the heroics in the three T20Is that start from Wednesday. The Indians under Rohit Sharma will look to get the series off to a winning start when they begin their campaign with the first T20 in Wellington.
Here’s a look at the predicted XI for the Indian team for the first T20 in Wellington:
In the absence of Virat Kohli, Sharma will lead the side in the three T20s. After stellar displays in the second and third ODIs that helped India wrap up the series early, Sharma failed with the bat in the last two matches. He will be eager to set the record straight at the top of the order in Wellington on Wednesday.
Dhawan was among the runs in the opening two games and got a good start before floundering in the third. However, Dhawan’s early dismissal in the fourth ODI triggered an inexplicable batting collapse. He was also dismissed early in the last game in Wellington. The Delhi batsman will be keen to get back his scoring touch.
Gill made his international debut in the fourth ODI; it was a bow that the youngster will want to forget in a hurry as India were shot out for a meager 92. The Punjab batsman contributed nine to India’s sorry total and could manage another seven in the fifth ODI. Gill has received a ringing endorsement from India skipper Kohli, who said that he was only 10 percent of what the 19-year-old is at his age. The hero of India’s triumphant 2018 Under-19 Cricket World Cup campaign will look to display his talents on the highest stage.
Pant was among the best performers for India on their triumphant Test series campaign in Australia. He amassed 350 runs in seven innings and finished second only to Cheteshwar Pujara in the runs tally. The Delhi wicket-keeper was rested for the subsequent ODIs against Australia and New Zealand but has been drafted in the squad for the three T20s. In the lead up to the upcoming World Cup, Pant’s performances will go a long way in helping the team management finalizing MS Dhoni’s deputy.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Dhoni has enjoyed successful campaigns in Australia and New Zealand. Having won the Player of the Series honours for the three ODIs Down Under, he also played a winning hand in the second ODI against the Kiwis. The veteran missed two games in New Zealand due to injury but was back to his sharp best in the last game as he effected the dismissal of James Neesham with some smart work behind the stumps.
Jadhav has been effective with both the bat and the ball in India’s campaigns in Australia and New Zealand. A dependable hand in the batting order, he is handy with the ball as well with his slinging off-spinners. Jadhav’s performances in New Zealand will go a long way in cementing his position in the Indian squad for the upcoming 2019 World Cup campaign.
After an unceremonious departure from Australia following off-field infractions, Pandya was brought back to the Indian side for the final three ODIs against New Zealand. And sure enough, he proved his utility for the side with handy all-round contributions. Pandya earned plaudits from Kohli for his display in the third ODI as the skipper remarked: “Hardik improves the balance of the team.” Having put the controversies behind him, Pandya will want the fans to remember for his on-field performances.
Yadav enjoyed a successful ODI campaign in New Zealand, grabbing four-wicket hauls in the first two matches to become the first spinner to do so in consecutive one-dayers in the country. Wickets deserted him in the next two games before he sat out the last match. But his effectiveness in the shortest format of the game makes him indispensable for the visitors.
Chahal finished as the joint-highest wicket-taker for India in the ODI series with nine wickets in his kitty. He will be keen to continue in the same vein in the first T20 in Wellington.
India’s opening bowler in the absence of first-choice Jaspreet Bumrah, Kumar took seven wickets from the five ODIs against the Kiwis. He will again lead the line in the T20s and will be eager to repeat the five-run economy rate he managed in the one-dayers.
Ahmed played only one ODI against the Kiwis and that was the fourth game when the Indian batsmen folded up for just 92, leaving the bowlers almost nothing to bowl at. He went wicketless and conceded 19 from his three overs but will hope for a change of fortunes in Wellington.
First Published: Feb 04, 2019 18:20 IST