February 4, 2019
| On 5 months ago

NZ vs IND 1st T20I: Three players to watch

By Chaitanya Laxman

After getting drubbed in the ODI series, New Zealand have another chance to regain their lost glory. But the challenge for them? They are lined-up against a formidable Team India which is high on confidence as well as skills.

Team India have ticked almost all boxes in their tour of New Zealand so far and now they will look to continue their dominance. Kohli’s absence could be a factor but India have the firepower to cover him. And these three players will play a big factor in the first T20I of the series.

#3. Rishabh Pant

With the World Cup approaching, Team India will be eager to seal the spot for the back-up wicket-keeper and hence Rishabh Pant will have plenty of eyes on him during this T20I series.

He was good in the India A games against England Lions and before that slammed a terrific hundred against Australia. What he needs now is maybe a couple of knocks that can reflect his value in the team especially as a finisher with plenty of brute power.

#2. Hardik Pandya

He came back, he saw, he slammed five sixes and he won the hearts of Indian fans again. Hardik Pandya showed what impact he can have on the game by delivering an all-round contribution in the fifth ODI and he will be looking to do the same  in the first T20I.

It will be interesting to see what lengths he bowls as New Zealand have plenty of big hitters and on flat surface and small boundaries, Pandya can be targeted as he is the fifth bowler.

#1. Bhuvneshwar Kumar

The battle for the second seamer in the World Cup is becoming intense as Mohammad Shami produced a stunning performance in the ODI series.

Also read: Blow to NZ: Opener to miss T20I series versus IND

Bhuvi’s strength has been his death bowling but he will also need to produce something more to ensure he is India’s second seamer for the World Cup.

Chaitanya Laxman