NEW DELHI: Just three days after the T20 World Cup final, New Zealand will be in action again in the upcoming three-match T20I series against India.
The opening match is scheduled to be held in Jaipur on Wednesday. It will be followed by the second and third T20Is (Ranchi and Kolkata) on November 19 and November 21.
New Zealand finished as runners-up after suffering a eight-wicket defeat at the hands of Australia in the final of the T20 World Cup recently. It was yet another instance of the Kiwis falling at the last hurdle of an ICC tournament.
In a new development, Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson has decided to opt out of the T20I series vs India to focus on the two-match Test series. Senior pacer Tim Southee has been given the responsibility to lead the side in absence of Williamson in the first match.
TimesofIndia.com here picks six Kiwi players to watch out for in the upcoming T20I series:
New Zealand will pin their hopes on experienced opening batsman Martin Guptill in the absence of their regular skipper Kane Williamson. Guptill is overall second on the list of highest run getters in T20Is lead by Virat Kohli.
He has 3147 runs under his belt in 109 T20I matches so far with the help of two centuries and 18 fifties. He has scored his runs at a good strike rate of 135.64 and an average of 32.11.
Martin Guptill (AFP Photo)
Guptill, who can take any bowling line up to the cleaners, will definitely pose a big threat to India. The right-hander also became the first batsman to hit more than 150 sixes in T20Is. He achieved the landmark in the T20 World Cup match against Scotland.
The 35-year-old Guptill has not seen success against India though in this format. He has so far scored 228 runs in 13 matches with a best score of 45 against the Men in Blue and will be looking to change those statistics.
Martin Guptill against India in T20Is: M 13 | Runs 228 | HS 45 | Ave 17.53 | SR 115.73 | 0x100s | 0x50s
Martin Guptill overall T20Is stats: M 109 | Runs 3147 | HS 105 | Ave 32.11 | SR 135.64 | 2x100s | 18x50s
Daryl Mitchell was not on everybody’s radar till the T20 World Cup semi-final. But the 30-year-old Mitchell probably played the innings of his life to become an overnight star. He blazed his way to an unbeaten 47-ball 72 in New Zealand’s successful run-chase of 167 against England in the semi-final. Mitchell hit the winning runs off the final delivery of the 19th over.
Daryl Mitchell (Reuters Photo)
Mitchell, who failed to keep his momentum going in the final against Australia, is now all set to ply his trade on his maiden tour of India. Mitchell, who is the son of former All Blacks rugby coach John Mitchell, had also scored 49 against India in the Super 12 match at the recently concluded World Cup.
He has 356 runs in 22 T20I matches under his belt so far at an average of 23.73 with a score of 72 not out his only fifty in T20Is. Mitchell has overall played six matches against India in which he has scored 83 runs.
Daryl Mitchell against India in T20Is: M 6 | Runs 83 | HS 49 | Ave: 16.60 | SR 136.06 | 0x100s | 0x50s
Daryl Mitchell overall T20Is stats: M 22 | Runs 356 | HS 72* | Ave 23.73 | SR 139.06 | 0x100s | 1x50s
Kiwi all-rounder James Neesham was the big match-winner in New Zealand’s sensational win over England in the T20 World Cup semi-final. Neesham came up with a splendid cameo, belting an 11-ball 27, studded with three sixes and a four. He remained unbeaten on 13 off 7 balls in the final against Australia.
James Neesham (AFP Photo)
The left-handed batsman Neesham, who also bowls medium-pace, now shifts his focus to his first ever tour of India. His Super 12 appearance in the T20 World Cup match in the UAE is so far his only T20I against India, in which he did not get a chance to either bat or bowl.
Neesham’s stats are not impressive in the shortest format but he has a knack of coming good with both bat and ball when his team needs him the most. He is also said to have a golden arm and has the knack of giving his side crucial breakthroughs. He has 410 runs in 36 T20I matches overall so far at an average of 24.11. He also has 21 wickets to his name with best figures of 3 for 16.
Jimmy Neesham overall T20Is stats: M 36 | Runs 410 | HS 48* | Ave 24.11 | SR 160.78 | Wickets 21 | BBI 3/16
Left-arm pacer Trent Boult will look to carry his form from the T20 World Cup, where he finished as the joint second-highest wicket taker with 13 scalps in the series vs India . He also bowled an exceptional spell against Australia in the final, returning figures of 2/18 from his 4 overs.
Trent Boult (AFP Photo)
Boult in fact was the only Kiwi player to have been named in the ICC T20 World Cup team of the tournament by the ICC. The 32-year-old Boult has so far accounted for 59 wickets in 41 T20Is with a slightly expensive economy rate of 8.12.
He has so far featured in four T20I matches against India and taken nine wickets at an impressive average of 12.88. His career-best figures of 4/34 in fact were also registered against India.
Trent Boult against India in T20Is: M 4 | Wickets 9 | BBI 4/34 | Ave 12.88 | Eco: 8.28
Trent Boult overall T20Is stats: M 41 | Wickets 59 | BBI 4/34 | Ave 21.13 | Eco: 8.12
One of the tallest fast bowlers in the world, 6 feet 8 inch tall Kyle Jamieson is known to frustrate batsmen with his awkward bounce. Jamieson did not feature in any match of the recently concluded T20 World Cup. But Jamieson is geared up to face ‘one of the greatest challenges’ on his maiden trip to India.
Kyle Jamieson (AFP Photo)
“We have got one of the greatest challenges coming up, playing India in India. So for me, that gets me out of bed every day- to challenge yourself against the best in the world in tough conditions,” he told PTI.
The 26-year-old right-arm pacer has not clicked in the shortest format, taking just four wickets in eight matches so far. But the lanky pacer made a mark in this year’s IPL with nine wickets in as many games for Royal Challengers Bangalore. He knows the Indian conditions and the weaknesses of the key Indian batsmen.
Kyle Jamieson overall T20Is stats: M 8 | Wickets 4 | BBI 2/15 | Ave 70.25 | Eco 9.80
Left-arm spinner Mitchell Santner may have just picked up two wickets in the T20 World Cup but his tidy spells helped New Zealand in putting pressure on the opposition batters. The best of batsmen found it difficult to put Santner away. His main task in the series vs India will be to make sure the big hitting Indian batsmen are tied down.
Mitchell Santner (AFP Photo)
Santner has accounted for 62 wickets in 59 T20I matches at an impressive average of 23.16. His overall best figures of 4/11 in fact were registered against India in a group match of the 2016 T20 World Cup.
Mitchell Santner against India in T20Is: M 13 | Wickets 12 | BBI 4/11 | Ave 28.58 | Eco 7.29
Mitchell Santner overall T20Is stats: M 59 | Wickets 62 | BBI 4/11 | Ave 23.16 | Eco 7.31