Team India, under the captaincy of Hardik Pandya, will be squaring off against New Zealand in the 1st T20I of the three-match series at the Wellington Regional Stadium on Friday. After a disappointing finish in the 2022 T20 World Cup, where India lost to England in the semi-finals, the management has rested senior players like Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli among others. The likes of Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer, Umran Malik, among others have been given chance. Another youngster, who has been picked in the squad is Shubman Gill. It remains to be seen whether he makes his T20I debut in this series.
Here’s the predicted India XI for the 1st T20I against New Zealand:
Ishan Kishan: The left-handed batter had his chances as opener in T20Is. He has the ability to go after the bowlers right from the start. If India are to reboot their T20I approach, Kishan might be a great choice as opener.
Shubman Gill: The 23-year-old batter is in sensational form this year. Gill played a major role in Gujarat Titans’ IPL 2022 triumph. He went on to smash his maiden international ton against Zimbabwe in an ODI. Team India might add Gill as their opener alongside Ishan.
Shreyas Iyer: The right-handed batter played his last T20I match against South Africa, in October, where he got dismissed for 1. However, he has for long been seen as someone who can add a lot of stability in the batting order. Iyer will be one of the top picks for Team India against New Zealand.
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Suryakumar Yadav: Suryakumar impressed everyone with his great knocks in the recently concluded 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia. In six matches, the 32-year-old amassed 239 runs, at a strike rate of 189.68 and also finished as the third highest run-scorer in the event.
Hardik Pandya: The all-rounder was in a great form in the T20 World Cup and gave good performances both with the bat and ball. In six matches, Pandya scored 128 runs and scalped eight wickets. His knock of 63 runs off 33 balls against England in the semi-final clash once again showed his ability to rescue the team from a tricky situation.
Sanju Samson/Rishabh Pant: The wicketkeeper-batter was not included in the World Cup squad but has great potential to deliver a big innings. He played his last T20I against West Indies in August. Rishabh Pant is also in the squad. It will be interesting to see who the team management goes for.
Arshdeep Singh: Arshdeep proved that he can be a good option for India in the long run after some terrific spells in the T20 World Cup. With 10 wickets in 6 matches, Arshdeep was India’s highest wicket-taker in the mega-event.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar: He had a mediocre run in the T20 World Cup. In six matches, the senior pacer could only scalp four wickets. The only saving grace for Bhuvi was the fact that he was fairly economical in most matches.
Kuldeep Yadav: The spinner played his last T20I game against West Indies in August but can be a great spin option for India, alongside Yuzvendra Chahal.
Mohammed Siraj: The pacer went wicketless in his previous T20I appearance against South Africa in October but Team India might include him to strengthen their pace attack.
Yuzvendra Chahal: After sitting out for the entire World Cup, Chahal will look to redeem himself and give a strong performance in the T20Is against New Zealand.
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