India are set to face New Zealand in the ICC World T20 2016 opener at the VCA Stadium in Nagpur, Tuesday. The T20 game is expected to be a run feast, considering there is an array of quality batsmen in both the camps.
Though India, with their impressive form in the T20 format, might be favourites to win the first match of the World T20, MS Dhoni's team cannot take New Zealand lightly. The Black Caps have a balanced side, with quality batsmen and bowlers, who will be keen to upset the hosts.
If India have Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and Ashish Nehra, New Zealand possess Martin Guptill, Corey Anderson and Trent Boult, which makes the contest even more intriguing.
Here is a look at some quality players from both sides.
The right-hander has been a huge for India in recent times and it goes without saying that Kohli is India's best batsman. Kohli will be oozing with confidence after an impressive Asia Cup, scoring 153 runs to help India win the title. Prior to the Asia Cup, he also sparkled in Australia, taking the attack to the Aussie bowlers, while scoring 199 runs. If Kohli comes up with a similar performance against New Zealand in the opening game, India should be in the driving seat. His ability to take control of the situation makes him a special player.
New Zealand have a strong top order with Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson and Colin Munro as their key batsmen along with Corey Anderson and the experienced Ross Taylor in the middle order. Nehra is a good swing bowler and has been bowling consistently for India with the new ball, taking early wickets. Dhoni will once again be throwing the new ball to Nehra, with the hope of dismissing the top order cheaply. If Nehra manages to do that, half the job will be done, as the spinners can get into the game and create more pressure in the middle overs.
New Zealand have enjoyed considerable success in the T20 format of late and most of it is due to the batting heroics of Guptill. The right-hander has provided flying starts to New Zealand, which in turn has helped them post mammoth totals and chase scores with ease. Guptill takes huge advantage of the field restrictions in the first six overs. The longer Guptill stays at the batting crease for New Zealand, the better their chances of beating India.
Boult could prove to be the difference between the two sides. If Boult bowls his heart out and takes wickets early on, India could be in all sorts of trouble as they primarily depend on Rohit Sharma and Kohli in the top order. The left-arm fast bowler can trouble India with his pace, though, the pitch might assist the batsmen more. Boult may be wayward at times, but if he gets his line and length right, the India batsmen better watch out.