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India vs New Zealand 1st T20I: India changing the top order with Hardik Pandya leading the side

India vs New Zealand 1st T20I: After the heartbreaking failure in the T20 World Cup, Hardik Pandya leads the Indian side will square off against New Zealand in a 3-match T20I series, followed by a 3-match ODI series. The T20I series begins on 18th November, Friday in Wellington. The series is starting just 5 days after concluding the T20 World Cup. After the disappointing finish in the semi-finals, India has rested senior players like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, and K.L. Rahul.

India lost the semi-finals against England and the blame was on the openers who failed to score many runs in the powerplay. So, an entirely different group of youngsters are going for the New Zealand series.

The likes of Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer, Umran Malik, Shubhman Gill, Ishan Kishan, and Kuldeep Yadav are part of the team. Most probably, Gill will make his T20I debut in this series. It’s interesting to see who will get a chance to open the series.

In the absence of skipper Rohit Sharma, all-rounder Hardik Pandya will lead the Men in Blue in the T20I series. Shikhar Dhawan will take up the captaincy role in the ODIs. The head coach Rahul Dravid is also taking a break and VVS Laxman will guide the team now.

A team filled with youngsters will be a hope for team India as they are hoping to come back out of the loss in the semi-finals and recreate the same energy as they always do.

Along with a strong batting lineup of Rishabh Pant, Shubhman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav, and Shreyas Iyer, India’s bowling department also looks to be quite balanced with the presence of Arshdeep Singh, Harshal Patel, Umran Malik, and Yuzvendra Chahal.

Also, veteran pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar is on the edge to achieve a huge record in the shortest format of the game in the New Zealand series. If Bhuvneshwar Kumar takes 4 wickets against New Zealand in the T20I series, he will become the 1st to have the most wickets in a calendar year. In 2022, he has bagged 36 wickets so far out of the 30 matches he has played. With an impressive T20 World Cup, the record is now held by Ireland’s Joshua Brian Little, with a total of 39 wickets in his hands.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar became India’s all-time leading wicket-taker in the shortest format.  

New Zealand also slopped out in the semis with Pakistan and they also hope to turn the side this time with India. Kane Williamson will lead the side with Finn Allen at the top order. After a solid performance in the World Cup, Finn Allen has sealed his spot at the top of the squad and he will continue the same in his home condition as well. This has affected Martin Guptil’s place in the squad. But keeping Allen in the squad is an indication that Kiwis are aiming to nurture the younger talents and focus on the future generations.

Trent Boult left out of the squad is a real shock here. Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson, and Blair Tickner will handle the pace department. Ish Sodhi will handle the spin for the Kiwis.

Quality players are filled on both sides and the encounter will be an exciting one. The 2nd and 3rd T20 matches will be on the 20th and 22nd of November at Bay Oval and Mc Lean Park respectively.

India vs New Zealand T20I Squad

India T20I squad: Hardik Pandya (C), Rishabh Pant (vc & wk), Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Surya Kumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson (wk), W Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Harshal Patel, Arshdeep Singh, Mohd. Siraj, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umran Malik.

New Zealand T20I squad: Kane Williamson (c), Finn Allen, Michael Bracewell, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Adam Milne, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Blair Tickner.

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