After inflicting a record 80 run defeat on India, New Zealand will look to seal the series when the two sides meet in the second T20 in Auckland on Friday. Eden Park is expected to attract a crowd of over 40,000, the highest ever for a cricket game at the venue since the 2015 World Cup.
The Kiwis rode on the back of a fantastic 84 from wicket keeper batsman Tim Seifert to post a massive 219/6 in Wellington. Another similar performance from the Northern Districts star will do his World Cup chances no harm at all.
Seifert’s partner Colin Munro and skipper Kane Williamson both scored 34 at the Basin Reserve and will be aiming for another good show at Eden Park, which has acquired a reputation for being very batting friendly.
Tim Southee only played one of the five ODI’s, but he bowled superbly in Wellington and ended up with figures of 3/17 in his allotted 4 overs. The likes of Ish Sodhi and Santner were not only able to contain the scoring, but were also able to pick wickets as they wrecked the visitors’ iddle order.
The Kiwis could bring in James Neesham in place of Colin de Grandhomme. The Harare born all rounder has looked all at sea against spin, and Neesham, as demonstrated in the fifth ODI, offers great reliability with the bat.
The Indian bowlers were taken to the cleaners in the first T20, with their pace trio of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed and Hardik Pandya together going for more than 12 an over.
Dashing batsman Rishabh Pant who looked out of sorts in the previous game would be looking to get his mojo back.
Krunal Pandya was economical in Wellington, but the visitors may considering bringing back Kuldeep Yadav. Mohammad Siraj is another who could get a game. Vijay Shankar was used exclusively as a batsman in the first T20 as India opted not to play Shubman Gill. He did reasonably well after being promoted to No.3, and may be given another chance in the same position.
India Likely XI
Rohit Sharma (capt.) Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill/ Vijay Shankar, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya/Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed/ Mohammed Siraj and Yuzvendra Chahal
New Zealand Likely XI
Tim Seifert (wk), Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (capt.), Ross Taylor, Daryl Mitchell, James Neesham/ Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Scott Kuggeleijn, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi and Lockie Ferguson