The recently concluded three-match ODI series between India vs New Zealand was closely-fought, with Virat Kohli's men emerging victorious. Now, both the teams will be seen in the three-match T20I series, which starts on Wednesday (November 1) in Delhi.
India might have beaten New Zealand in the ODI contest, but the T20 format is going to be a different thing altogether. There is a reason for that as the Black Caps are ranked number one in the shorter format while India are fifth. Even if one looks at India's performances in the recent past, they have, at times, struggled in the T20 format.
Despite the difference in rankings, India might be much more ready than New Zealand for the T20 series. The "Men in Blue" have played T20 matches against West Indies, Sri Lanka and Australia after the Champions Trophy, while the Black Caps have not played a single T20 match after the ICC event.
India will be keen to take advantage of that scenario, and with some established stars, the home team might start as slight favourites. However, New Zealand will take inspiration from their head-to-head record against India in the shorter format, where the Black Caps have not lost a single game.
The "Men in Blue" will once again look for their regulars Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah to fire. The T20 format is such where a single player can change the complexion of the game in a matter of overs, and India have some wonderful match-winners, who can do that.
However, the selectors have also brought in two new faces in the form of consistent domestic performers, Shreyas Iyer and Mohammed Siraj. It might be difficult for either of them to make it to the playing XI.
Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shikhar Dhawan, MS Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Dinesh Karthik, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Mohammed Siraj.
New Zealand look like a team, which is tailor-made for the shorter format of the game. One look at their team, and names such as Martin Guptill, Trent Boult, Tim Southee, Colin Munro, Colin de Grandhomme led by Kane Williamson look a well-balanced unit.
With players like Guptill, Williamson, Boult and others having decent IPL experience, it could play an important role in the three-match T20 series.
Kane Williamson (captain), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Ish Sodhi, Tom Bruce, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham (wicketkeeper), Henry Nicholls, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee.
India vs New Zealand 1st T20
Date: November 1, Wednesday
Time: 7 pm IST
Venue: Feroz Shah Kotla, Delhi
India vs New Zealand 2nd T20
Date: November 4, Saturday
Time: 7 pm IST
Venue: Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Rajkot
India vs New Zealand 3rd T20
Date: November 7, Tuesday
Time: 7 pm IST
Venue: Greenfield International Stadium, Thiruvananthapuram
TV listings: Star Sports (India). Sky Sport (New Zealand and England). Willow TV (USA)