New Zealand actually had a fairly decent game with the ball – their plans were good, execution not always but spot on but more on than off – but they still lost comfortably to India in the series opener. This tells you two things: when India are chasing, you need to put on an above-par score, and Jasprit Bumrah always stands in the way of such an endeavour. In an innings that New Zealand kept nudging at 10 an over, looking for a final kick to push them past 220, Bumrah conceded just 16 runs in overs 18 and 20, three overthrows included.
New Zealand can match India’s accomplished batting line-up over 20 overs with power and innovation, but it is in the bowling that India continue to be a superior side. In the second of the double-header at Eden Park, the hosts will have to find a way to hurt India’s bowling to give their bowlers a chance. Expect Shivam Dube and Yuzvendra Chahal to be put under more pressure and not be allowed to go at eight an over on such a small ground.
India’s batting remains good as gold in chases, but if they lose the toss, their newfound intent – and they have shown it when batting first against West Indies and Australia in both T20Is and ODIs recently – will be tested when setting a target on the small ground.
New Zealand LLLWW (last five completed matches, most recent first)
In the spotlight
New Zealand openers gave them a start in the first T20I, but they ended up with strike rates of 140 and 158. They will want at least one of Martin Guptill and Colin Munro to score at near two runs a ball to get a score big enough for this venue.
Five overs for 42 runs and two wickets, Ravindra Jadeja and Shivam Dube will have pleased India no end with their performance in the first match. That there are two allrounders eases the pressure on both of them. If they can keep delivering similar results, India will be closer to finding a plan for the T20 World Cup.
New Zealand might think of the odd change but they will know it was not in the choice of the personnel that they lost the first game.
New Zealand (probable): 1 Martin Guptill, 2 Colin Munro, 3 Kane Williamson (capt.),4 Colin de Grandhomme, 5 Ross Taylor, 6 Tim Seifert (wk) 7 Mitchell Santner/ Daryl Mitchell, 8 Ish Sodhi, 9 Tim Southee, 10 Blair Tickner, 11 Hamish Bennett
Now that they have preferred Manish Pandey to Rishabh Pant in the middle order, India are expected to give him a decent run. Expect only one change in the Indian XI: Navdeep Saini in for Shardul Thakur.
India (probable): 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 KL Rahul (wk), 3 Virat Kohli (capt.), 4 Shreyas Iyer, 5 Manish Pandey, 6 Shivam Dube 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Yuzvendra Chahal, 9 Mohammed Shami, 10 Navdeep Saini, 11 Jasprit Bumrah
Pitch and conditions
The first T20I featured some dew, which will be on the minds of captains at the toss. Other than that, expect a lot of runs and no stoppages.
Stats and trivia
Ish Sodhi needs one wicket to become the fourth New Zealand bowler to take 50. Mitchell Santner had reached the landmark on Friday.
Only one of the last six matches at Eden Park has resulted in a win for the side batting first.
“We had great support. We had 80% India fans here, and the atmosphere was great. You need that in a 200-plus chase, they help us go further, be braver.”
Virat Kohli is thankful for the fans turning it into a home game
“Every time we play India, whether it is a home game, away game or a neutral venue, they’re always very well supported. I am not sure what the numbers were today. There’s probably 20,000, and probably 12,000 were Indian supporters.”
Ross Taylor on playing at home but not quite