The stage is set for Twenty 20 cricket’s biggest spectacle! The much-awaited ICC World T20 is finally here and the mega event will see 10 teams battle hard to lay their hands on the biggest prize of T20 international cricket. The top eight teams, namely India, West Indies, South Africa, New Zealand, Australia, England, Pakistan and Sri Lanka qualified for the main round by default. These teams were joined by Afghanistan and Bangladesh, who emerged table-toppers in their respective groups at the ICC WT20 qualifiers.
India vs New Zealand: Team news
ICC T20 rank: 1
Form guide: W W W W W
Performance in warm-up games: 1) Beat West Indies by 45 runs; 2) Lost to South Africa by 3 runs
The ‘Super 10’ round of the tournament kicks off today and it is hosts India vs New Zealand in the opener today at the VCA stadium in Nagpur. Let us look at the team news ahead of this high-octane clash.
Undoubtedly the best T20 team in 2016 so far, India will look to open their T20 world cup campaign with a win over the Kiwis. With 10 wins from 11 matches played, the Men in Blue enjoy an impressive win percentage and are also on a 7-match winning streak. Series wins against Australia and Sri Lanka and a successful Asia cup are testimonials of the Indian team’s impeccable form. The team looks very well settled and skipper MS Dhoni would probably stick to his winning combination for the India vs New Zealand clash.
While the team composition remains more or less the same, pacer Mohammad Shami is back in action and one has to wait and see if he gets a game. India will bank on top-order batsmen Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli to score the bulk of runs and will be supported by big-hitters like Suresh Raina, YUvraj Singh, MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya. The bowling department will be spearheaded by pacers Ashish Nehra and Jasprit Bumrah along with spinners R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja. Pandya too will play a key role with his medium-pace bowling in the middle overs.
ICC T20 rank: 4
Form guide: W W L W W
Performance in warm-up games: 1) Beat Sri Lanka by 74 runs; 2) Lost to England by 6 wickets
Following Brendon McCullum’s retirement last month, Kane Williamson was handed over the reins of the New Zealand T20 team. The squad boasts of some fierce hitters of the cricket ball along with world-class bowlers and this makes today’s India vs New Zealand clash even more exciting. Martin Guptill and Kane Williamson have enjoyed a lot of success as opening batsmen and are complemented by three more explosive batsmen, Colin Munro, Ross Taylor and Corey Anderson. Munro took the cricketing world by storm when he smashed a 14-ball 50* against Sri Lanka in January. Keeper Luke Ronchi and Grant Elliott are handy batsmen and the latter showcased his batting abilities in the 50-over World cup last year.
The bowling unit comprises of left-arm seamer Trent Boult, Tim Southee and Mitchell McClenaghan along with Adam Milne. Ish Sodhi, Nathan McCullum and Mitchell Santner are the spinning options. Elliott and Anderson are useful medium-pace bowlers as well.
Here’s everything else you need to know about today’s India vs New Zealand match: