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Ashish Nehra vs Martin Guptill: 5 key clashes in India vs New Zealand 1st T20 at Feroz Shah Kotla

After winning the ODI series 2-1, India will take on New Zealand in a three-match T20 series starting at the Feroz Shah Kotla . Ashish Nehra is scheduled to play his final international cricket match.

india vs new zealand 2017 Updated: Nov 01, 2017 11:42 IST
Sidharth Gulati
Sidharth Gulati
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
India vs New Zealand,Indian cricket team,Ashish Nehra
Ashish Nehra looks on during a practice session ahead of India’s first T20 international against New Zealand at Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi.(PTI)

After winning the ODI series 2-1, the Indian cricket team will take New Zealand in a three-match T20 series, starting November 1. Here is a look at five key battles which could shape the destiny of this series:

Ashish Nehra vs Martin Guptill

With Ashish Nehra retiring on Wednesday, this will be the most awaited contest of the match. (HT Photo)

Ashish Nehra will end his 18-year international career with the opening T20I at his home ground, the Feroz Shah Kotla.

READ | India vs New Zealand: Dew could have big say in outcome of Ferozeshah Kotla T20

He’ll look to sign off on a high but will face a stiff challenge from Martin Guptill, who has taken his hitting ability to another level in the past few years.

Hailed as New Zealand’s best white ball cricketer currently, Guptill will look to attack from the word go.

Yuzvendra Chahal vs Tom Latham

This will be a contest between two players who are in form. (HT Photo)

Tom Latham was New Zealand’s highest run-getter (206) in the three-ODI series vs India and will hope to build on the momentum in the T20s.

However, Yuzvendra Chahal -- who bounced back in the last two ODIs after a poor show in Mumbai -- will look to make visitors’ job tough and his duel with Latham will be interesting to watch out for.

If Chahal can get his wicket early, New Zealand could be in serious trouble.

READ | India vs New Zealand T20Is: Five players to watch out for

Virat Kohli vs Ish Sodhi

Will India captain Virat Kohli come out on top or will Ish Sodhi utilise the turning tracks of the subcontinent? (HT Photo)

On Indian wickets, New Zealand will be heavily reliant on leg-spinner Ish Sodhi. The Ludhiana-born New Zealand player will hope to take full advantage of the favourable tracks.

Virat Kohli, on the other hand, has been in stupendous form this year. He even scored two centuries in the ODIs and was adjudged the Man-of-the-Series. However, the Indian skipper will be aware of the challenge he’ll face against Sodhi, who could prove to be a tricky customer on turning pitches.

This will be an interesting battle between two players who are in contrasting stages of their career. Sodhi will be eager to put on a solid show in this series, and the prospect of getting the better of one of the best batsmen of this generation will certainly be a big thing.

READ | India vs New Zealand: Tom Latham, ‘mental shift’ shore up Colin Munro’s batting

Rohit Sharma vs Trent Boult

Will Rohit Sharma be able to overcome his problems against left-arm pacers? (HT Photo)

Recently, Rohit Sharma has had issues against left-arm fast bowlers and his dismissals have been almost similar -- Mohammad Amir in the Champions Trophy final, Jason Behrendorff in Guwahati, and Trent Boult at the Wankhede. It’s the incoming deliveries that have accounted for Rohit on all three occasions.

But in Kanpur, the India vice-captain seemed better balanced. An on-drive against Boult --- played with a straight bat and with the head not falling over --- was an indication that Rohit had learnt from his mistake.

If he continues to play Boult well, India will fancy their chances of getting the better of the Kiwis.

READ | India vs New Zealand: Shreyas Iyer hopeful of making T20 debut

Jasprit Bumrah vs Kane Williamson

The accurate arm of Bumrah vs the experience and maturity of Williamson. (HT Photo)

During the Pune ODI, Bumrah targeted Williamson’s stumps throughout and didn’t allow him to score even a single run. His accurate bowling paid off against New Zealand’s best batsmen as he had the Kiwi skipper trapped in front.

In the series decider in Kanpur, Williamson played the Indian seamer well and went on to score a well-compiled half-century, studded with eight boundaries.

Come November 1, it would be interesting to see who comes out on top in this battle.

First Published: Nov 01, 2017 08:53 IST