After being convincingly outplayed in the first T20I, India will look to bounce back in the second match against New Zealand in Auckland on February 8.
India's tryst with experimentation backfired heavily in Wellington as the visitors lost by 80 runs – their highest ever in a T20 international match.
Skipper Rohit Sharma and the team management is extremely taken in by Vijay Shankar's batting abilities and thus, perhaps inexplicably, played him as a pure batsman at number three and it is likely that he will continue in that role, keeping Shubman Gill waiting in the wings.
Rishabh Pant's 10-ball stay in the middle was extremely forgettable and he will look to bounce back in the second match. On the other hand, it will be interesting to see if Krunal Pandya keeps his place ahead of Kuldeep Yadav. In case, the management want a batting cushion at number 8, Yuzvendra Chahal could make way for Kuldeep.
Khaleel Ahmed had a disappointing day in the first match and with Mohammad Siraj and Siddharth Kaul waiting in the wings, it will not come as a surprise to see him benched. Kaul is a proven death overs bowler in the IPL and India could do with someone who can execute the Yorker in the end overs.
For New Zealand, everything they touched at the Westpac Stadium turned into gold. Thus, they are unlikely to make any changes to their playing XI from Wednesday. Captain Kane Williamson will only hope they can keep playing the way they did and render the final T20 on Sunday a dead rubber.
New Zealand: Tim Seifert (WK), Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (C), Ross Taylor, Daryl Mitchell, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Scott Kuggeleijn, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson
India: Rohit Sharma (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Vijay Shankar, MS Dhoni (WK), Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Khaleel Ahmed
Pitch and conditions
Eden Park in Auckland will feature a drop-in pitch which traditionally tends to be on the slower side. But dew and the night conditions will liven the pitch up. This will help the batsmen as the surface is expected to be hard and true allowing the stroke-makers to make merry. The bowlers will once again be in for a hard time but, at the same time, wrist spinners are expected to extract turn from the surface.
Expect a typical New Zealand weather on Friday evening. The temperatures are expected to be hovering around 20 degree Celsius and strong winds will make the conditions very chilly and foreign for the Indian players. The sky is forecast to be cloudy although no rain is forecast for the game.