It is not often that we see a 5-match T20I series played. For the buffs, this is the first time something of that sorts is happening. What that means is that teams have got enough time to bounce back unlike the other T20I series that we often come across. That will be on the cards for New Zealand as they look to square the series in the second game. The Kiwis looked slightly spineless in the absence of Kane Williamson in the opener.
The batting appeared jittery and the openers have come under the scanner once again. If they are to turn things around now and in the T20 World Cup next year, the Martin Guptill-Colin Munro pair needs to fire consistently. Brief spells of entertaining cricket from this duo won’t help much.
The middle-order came to the rescue up to a certain extent in the last game after a powerplay that didn’t yield the result in their favour. A good start is what the hosts will look for irrespective of whether they bat first or second. The bowlers, on the other hand, will look to be slightly more disciplined than what they were in the last game.
England, with this fresh look side, will want to dominate in Wellington as well. There is some really exciting talent in the squad and skipper Eoin Morgan will look to give everyone a run out in the middle. As they look to identify the perfect line-up for the mega event next year, the Brits will hope to be tested this time around.
Tough competition from the opposition is what determines how good this young side is. James Vince coming good at three is a huge positive for them. Also, the bowlers executed the plans well and bowled to the fields in the last match. They will want to keep up the good work.
New Zealand, with their 13-man squad, doesn’t have many options to shuffle around. James Neesham didn’t play the last game and there isn’t any update on his availability. If they make any changes to their eleven, that should be the only one. Neesham might come in place of Scott Kuggeleijn who had a forgettable outing in the last game. The rest of the line-up seems pretty much sorted with Mitchell Santner as the lead spinner.
Probable XI: Colin Munro, Martin Guptill, Tim Seifert (WK), Colin de Grandhomme, Ross Taylor, Daryl Mitchell, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee (C), Scott Kuggeleijn, Lockie Ferguson, Mitchell Santner.
There is a probability that England might rope Tom Banton in place of Dawid Malan. The Buckinghamshire wicket-keeper has been highly impressive at the domestic level and is an attacking cricketer. With Joe Denly ruled out due to an ankle injury, Lewis Gregory will hold onto his place in the side. There might not be any changes to the bowling attack given that they did a good job in the last match.
Probable XI: Tom Banton, Jonny Bairstow, James Vince, Eoin Morgan (C), Sam Billings, Lewis Gregory, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Adil Rashid, Chris Jordan, Pat Brown.
Focus will be on
Martin Guptill (New Zealand)
Martin Guptill didn’t look much comfortable in the last game. He couldn’t get his flow going and tried to get too defensive early on. In the end, the pressure of the dot balls got the better of him as he ended up dragging one back on to his stumps off the bowling of Sam Curran. The 33-year-old should look to be more aggressive and play his natural game.
Chris Jordan (England)
Chris Jordan started off beautifully with the ball in the last match. In his first two overs, he conceded just six runs and even picked up two wickets. However, the all-rounder couldn’t finish in the way he’d have liked. He conceded 22 runs in his last two overs which he bowled at the death. In one of these overs, he also went for 13 runs which wasn’t really impressive. Being a death-over specialist, Jordan should look to be slightly more clinical.
Head to Head
Matches played – 17, New Zealand won – 5, England won – 11, No result – 1
165 – Martin Guptill needs another 165 runs in this T20I series for him to go past Virat Kohli’s tally of 2,450 runs in the format.
TV – Star Sports
Live streaming – Hotstar
Match Timings – 2:00 PM local time; 6:30 AM IST
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