India conclude their tour of New Zealand with three T20 matches, with the first of those coming on Wednesday when the two sides do battle in Wellington. These games are all about entertainment but the competitive pride will ensure both teams will want to win this.
India were victorious in the ODIs which concluded at the weekend and it would represent a wonderful winter for them if they come out on top in these T20 matches as well. New Zealand will look to end their winter with a series win of their own.
The Kiwis are generally pretty strong in this format of the game. One of the reasons for that is because they have a lot of all-rounders who deliver the goods. That makes their batting line up long and gives Kane Williamson plenty of choice when it comes with the ball. They usually have strongly formulated plans which they are able to deliver on over the shorter distance.
The other advantage that the New Zealand side have, especially at home, is they play their T20 cricket on small grounds which can be hard to defend and sides travelling in can sometimes get caught out. If the home side can hit the ground running here then they could be tough to deny in this environment.
It has been a winter to remember for India so far and they are three matches away from unbelievably winning every series they have competing in over the course of their time in New Zealand and Australia. They haven’t just won every series they have played but they have been largely dominant in all of them so they are likely to take some beating here.
In fairness though, this is far from their strongest suit. If anything there is a case to be made that they are weaker in this format than any other. The next World T20 is down under next year so India will be eyeing up the chance to win that and with that in mind these three matches will act as something of a warm up for that.
New Zealand are without Martin Guptill and Trent Boult for this match which could see Williamson moving up to open. Tim Seifert comes in with the gloves and Scott Kuggeleijn will take his place in the side.
There is no Virat Kohli for India as he has been rested. KL Rahul is also sitting this series out so there is a return for Rishabh Pant while Rohit Sharma will skipper the side. The Pandya brothers are both expected to play.
As ever when we get to the Westpac Stadium I can’t ignore a punt on the sixes market. The line is actually only a tempting 12.5 which I think is very much on the low side here. As we know this is primarily a rugby ground and so the dimensions of this ground are among the shorter in world cricket at the present time.
You wouldn’t say that India have the biggest hitting side in the world but the likes of Rishabh Pant and the Pandya’s hit a big ball while near enough all of the hitters in the New Zealand team can clear bigger ropes than these ones. I’m expecting a high scoring match here so it makes sense that we will see more than 12.5 sixes.
WON – Back Over 12.5 sixes for a 4/10 stake at 1.83 with Betway
Back it here: