The two teams have dealt with Australia in contradictory styles recently. While New Zealand were hammered by the Kangaroos in a three-Test series recently, India tamed them 2-1 in an ODI series at home. And now, India are all set to take on New Zealand in a five-T20I series in their den starting Friday. The itinerary is almost a rerun of the 2019 one when Virat Kohli’s side toured New Zealand for a five-ODI and three-T20I series. They won the ODIs 4-1 but lost the T20Is 1-2.
This time, the series will also be a top draw since it is for the first time that the two teams are meeting after that close semi-final in the ICC World Cup last July. In the T20Is, India are ranked fifth while the Kiwis are sixth but head-to-head, the latter have a dominant 8-3 lead in 11 encounters between them so far starting 2007.
Veteran New Zealand batsman Ross Taylor, who recently became his country’s highest scorer in Tests, expressed confidence over the India series. Ahead of the first T20I in Auckland, Taylor said the home advantage will keep New Zealand ahead of the Men in Blue.
“We were completely outplayed in all facets of the game throughout the whole series (against Australia), but now we’re back on home soil and India will be a totally different opposition,” the 35-year-old was quoted as saying by stuff.co.nz. Last year, Rohit Sharma led India in the T20I series as Kohli was rested. India had lost the decider by just four runs.
“They’re the No 1 team in the world, but we’re obviously in conditions that we know, so let’s get through the white-ball phase first before we get on to talking about that.”
India are currently ranked No.1 in Tests and No.2 in ODIs.
Ross Taylor also spoke over the rise of T20I cricket in the last few years. He opined in favour of keeping all the three formats intact and not put too much emphasis on any one.
“Not a lot of people knew what to expect in the first World Cup in South Africa in 2007, but it’s grown a lot. Obviously the IPL came along not so long after. Quite often you used to play one, maybe two games, now we’ve got a five-match series.
The game’s evolved and the shots that the men and the women are playing make it exciting for people to come along and watch,” said Taylor, who has played the most number of T20Is for New Zealand — 95 — said. With 1,743 runs, Taylor is the third-highest scorer for the Kiwis in the format and has a strike-rate of around 122.
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