India vs New Zealand: A record Kiwis would hope remains intact vs Virat Kohli & Co.
India have never been able to defeat New Zealand in a T20 international series. The Virat Kohli-led hosts were given a tough fight by Kiwis in the recently-concluded ODI seriesUpdated: Oct 30, 2017 17:04 IST
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
The recently concluded three-match ODI series against New Zealand was expected to be an easy affair for India, given their dominant run across the format in the last one-and-a-half years. There were even talks of ‘no context’ to this series, but the way the Black Caps played, changed a lot of perspectives.
Strategically, they were miles ahead of the reigning world champions Australia --- who didn’t have an answer to Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal’s brilliance. New Zealand may not seem to have the toughness and the aura of teams like England and South Africa but they possess the ability to punch above their weight.
The action now shifts to a format in which the Black Caps have a wonderful record against India. Be it home, away or neutral venues, India have never been able to defeat New Zealand in a T20 international.
Old guard - ideal inspiration
India and New Zealand have squared off in five T20Is and it’s the Black Caps who sit comfortably with a 5-0 record.
Be it any format, it’s rare for a full-member nation to have an undefeated streak to their name against another full-member.
One of the major reasons why New Zealand have dominated India in the shortest format of the game has been the performances of their senior pros.
It was Daniel Vettori’s four-wicket haul in the 2007 ICC World T20 match in Johannesburg that earned his side a close win after Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir had put India in the driver’s seat.
While former skipper Brendon McCullum’s stupendous show guided them to victories in the next three matches at Christchurch, Wellington and Chennai, it was Nathan McCullum’s tidy spell in the 2016 ICC World T20 game in Nagpur that inspired Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi to wreak havoc.
The likes of Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Trent Boult and Tim Southee would hope to emulate the ‘old guard’ and pile more misery on the Indians.
Despite the 1-2 loss in ODIs, New Zealand would be expected to head into the T20I series with great confidence.
Opener Colin Munro hit a quick-fire 75 to give the visitors a blazing start in the final ODI. Tom Latham, their top run-scorer in the series (206 runs), batted with such clarity in his mind. Trent Boult and Co also made their presence felt in spells.
New Zealand have been a side known for their wicket-taking abilities through T20I innings and Matt Henry, who has a great limited-overs record, could find himself in the reckoning.
Plus, Williamson is also back among runs after falling cheaply in the first two ODIs. With him opening the innings in T20Is, Martin Guptill would be more assured of going about his natural game.
All this coupled with their flawless record would give the Kiwis the extra edge in the T20I series, starting November 1 at the Ferozeshah Kotla Stadium.
First Published: Oct 30, 2017 16:53 IST