India have a big series in New Zealand coming up as the BCCI has scheduled a 5 match T20 series which starts on Jan 24. As soon as the T20 series is finished, India will play three ODIs and 2 Tests.
India have already played a lot of cricket in January as they have finished a 3 match T20 series against Sri Lanka and a 3 match ODI series against Australia at home. Moreover, this will be their first overseas tour this year and they could fancy their chances against an injury-ravaged home team.
Injury Woes For New Zealand
The team that plays at home tends to have the edge. The Kiwis’ home advantage against India will be significantly reduced as some of their specialists miss out.
Their biggest loss will be their most experienced bowler in Trent Boult who is currently recovering from an injury. L Ferguson who impressed with his pace and wicket taking ability in the 2019 ICC World Cup is also not available as he is also in rehabilitation mode. Moreover, New Zealand have a good depth of fast bowlers but strangely most their reserve bowlers will also not be available.
M Henry is out with a thumb injury, A Milne who bowls at a good clip is out with an ankle injury and D Bracewell is out with a knee injury. It’s not just the bowlers who are injured though. T Latham who is a key member of the squad is out with a finger injury and batsman Will Young is out with a shoulder injury.
Kiwis Under Pressure
While weakened, the Kiwis still have a few other good T20 specialists. The experienced players in the squad will have to step up and lead from the front.
Kane Williamson will lead the squad and will want to put in a good performance with the bat. M Guptill will once again be given a chance at the top of the order. It will be up to him to find consistency, something he has struggled with throughout his career. Some of the other familiar names in the New Zealand squad include C Munro, R Taylor, Colin de Grandhomme.
T Southee will lead the bowling attack in the absence of T Boult. He will be supported by Scott Kuggeleijn, all-rounder M Santner and spinner I Sodhi.
Great Opportunity For New Zealand A
New Zealand A is currently playing an ODI series at home against an India A team. This is a great platform for players in the A team to make a name for themselves. The New Zealand A side have lost the first two ODI games but will take a few positives away. J Boyle made an impressive century in the first game while captain D Mitchell has bowled well. Mitchell is in the squad to face India.
NZ Squad For T20 Series
Kane Williamson (capt), Tim Seifert (wk), Hamish Bennett, Colin de Grandhomme, Tom Bruce, Scott Kuggeleijn, Martin Guptill, Daryl Mitchell, Ross Taylor, Colin Munro, Blair Tickner, Ish Sodhi, Mitchell Santner and Tim Southee.
Tom Bruce is selected to play T20 games 4 and 5. Colin de Grandhomme will play the first three games.