The wait is finally over. The grand T20 event is to kick off tomorrow. The hosts India will take on New Zealand who has taken the whole cricket world with a complete storm. Brendon McCullum reformed the New Zealand side completely with his aggressive approach; he gave his team the much needed self belief that they can dominate any side of the world. McCullum, who is also known as Baz, announced his surprising retirement in December. However, Kiwis still look solid and haven’t let down their former skipper till now.
But, the World T20 is likely to be a completely different ball game for New Zealand. Indian conditions are too different from NZ’s home conditions. The wicket is expected to be slow and spin friendly. Most of the players in New Zealand are not well aware of the playing conditions in India. Taylor knows Indian conditions the best with 46 games there. He is making a comeback after injury and will be a key player for New Zealand along with his skipper, Kane Williamson. These two are probably the best players of spin in Kiwis’ batting lineup.
In the likes of Martin Guptill, Colin Munro and Corey Anderson, New Zealand has got the fire power that has the ability to rip off any bowling lineup on any day. On the other hand, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor and Grant Elliott provide New Zealand the much needed sense of calmness. New Zealand will have to bat well against R Ashwin, R Jadeja and the other handy part time spinners India has.
On the other hand, India is looking an absolute champion team, especially in the shortest format of the game. They recently whitewashed Australia in their backyard in a three-match T20 series. They were undefeated in the Asia Cup, which was played in the T20 format for the first time. The Men in Blue have won 10 out of their last 11 T20 internationals, which truly depicts the kind of form they are in.
With destructive openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma, can take away the game from any opposition in the first six overs. The classy Virat Kohli at no. 3 is going through a purple patch in this form of the game. With these three men, India is surely having the best top order in the World T20 event.
India always had a problem with their bowling lineup. Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya and Ashish Nehra who is making a comeback, seem to be the answer to India’s weakness. Turning tracks will surely fall in favor of India with Ashwin and Jadeja in the side.
If you talk about the one on one record, New Zealand has got the better of India in the last five T20 internationals. India has been beaten by New Zealand four times in the last five T20s, whereas one match ended with no result. New Zealand has faced India once in their home, and won the game by 1 run. But, it will be a new day and a new game. In the current scenario, India stands as favorite to win the opening game of the World T20. Both the teams are high spirited and the contest is expected to be a cracking one.