India v NZ 2nd T20I Preview: New Zealand seek revenge at Rajkot

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India and New Zealand square off in the second match of the T20I series as the action moves to Rajkot.

After a brilliant performance in the 1st T20 where India secured its maiden win against New Zealand (in T20Is), the men in blue will be facing the Kiwis in the second T20 in Rajkot on Saturday. While India will be hoping to wrap up yet another series win with a victory, New Zealand will definitely look to make a comeback and keep the series alive. India is currently leading the series 1-0 after defeating the visitors by 53 runs in the first match.

For a side that prided themselves on their fielding, which was New Zealand’s strength in the shortest format, they had a nightmare of sorts in Delhi; as many as three catches were dropped, which cost them heavy as the Indian openers added 158 for the opening wicket. Their ground fielding wasn’t up to their normal standards either. Whether it was dew or the pressure that got to them, Kane Williamson said there were no excuses. And there weren’t, with them being outplayed in all three departments.

What New Zealand has lacked in addition, has been a strong finisher down the order and an underwhelming tour so far for Colin de Grandhomme, which includes the A tour. Having played one good knock in Pune, he has been uninspiring for the side after, that has been in situations where they could’ve done with runs from him.

The six-bowler ploy – including Hardik Pandya – in Delhi, with lots of dew around, was a move that paid off for India greatly. In Rajkot though, given that the deck is flat and it’ll be a track that has a lot of runs in it, they thus, might go in with an extra bowler with their batsmen being in great touch, in addition to the all-rounder in Pandya.

Team News – India vs New Zealand

With Ashish Nehra now retired from international cricket, there is one spot up for grabs in Rajkot. India might consider handing a debut to Hyderabad quick Mohammed Siraj or beef up their middle order by including Manish Pandey or Dinesh Karthik.

India Playing XI (Probable) – Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (c), Shreyas Iyer, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohd. Siraj/Manish Pandey/Dinesh Karthik

Young Glenn Phillips had a long hit-out in the nets and might get a chance ahead of Tom Bruce. The top order batsman won’t mind a middle-order role, although he played in the top four in the tour games.

New Zealand Playing XI (Probable) – Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Tom Latham (wk), Henry Nicholls, Tom Bruce/Glenn Philips, Colin De Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi

The pitch to be used on Saturday looked completely devoid of grass in the middle of a lush green outfield. The track is known to favor batsmen and more runs could be expected for the second T20 too. Rajkot, like Delhi and Kanpur, will continue to provide the teams with pleasant, early winter conditions.

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