New Zealand Will Travel To India To Play 3 Match T20 Series In Nov
India has not had a good T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Many things went wrong for the Indian squad in the lead-up and during the World Cup. However, they don’t have much time to fix things as they now have to prepare for a three-match T20 series against New Zealand.
The Kiwis have one of the strongest T20 squads globally and are accustomed to playing in India conditions, given the vast majority of their T20 squad play in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Will the Kiwis upset India and win the T20 series, or will India bounce back and get back to winning?
Kohli and Sharma To Be Rested
India will not only be without Virat Kohli, the captain for this T20 series but will also be without Virat Kohli, the batter. Kohli announced before the T20 World Cup that he would be stepping down from the captaincy role in both the T20 and ODI format. The BCCI hasn’t released an official statement, but unconfirmed reports suggest that Kohli will be rested for this T20 series.
Rohit Sharma was tipped to be Kohli’s successor, given that he has been the vice-captain for the T20 and ODI formats. However, it looks like the BCCI also plans to rest Sharma for the series, which means India will be without two of their best T20 batters and will also miss a lot of experience.
The absence of these two veterans will allow the selectors to give some of the fringe players a chance to showcase their skills.
KL Rahul To Captain
Since Sharma is expected to be rested for the T20 series, it looks like KL Rahul will captain the T20 side. We don’t know if this is just a one-off assignment for KL Rahul since Sharma is not in the squad or the selectors are looking at KL Rahul as a long-term option. His performance as a leader and batter during this T20 series could help the selectors make that important decision.
Sharma is a great choice for T20 captain, given how well he has led the Mumbai Indians in the IPL. However, Sharma is 34 years old and will turn 35 in April 2022. He does not have many years left ahead of him, and the BCCI might be looking at a younger replacement that will be able to lead the T20 side for a few years.
KL Rahul could fit that bill as he is; he will turn just 30 in April 2022. Rahul has a lot of experience under his belt and has led the Punjab Kings in the IPL. If Rahul ends up having a poor series as captain and an average performance as a batter, the BCCI will find it hard to justify naming him as captain and might go with Sharma.
The only other option the BCCI has for a replacement T20 captain is S Iyer, who hasn’t been a regular in the T20 side recently.
New Players For Kiwi Series
Indian fans criticized the BCCI for not picking the T20 World Cup team based on their performance in the IPL. The selectors went with the usual T20 players even though they had a poor 2021 IPL, and it cost India big time as most of the players were out of form. The selectors are likely to bring in a lot of new faces, most of who have done well in the 2021 IPL.
We expect Ruturaj Gaikwad to be a part of this T20 squad as he finished as the leading run-scorer in the 2021 IPL. Y Chahal used to be a key T20 bowler for India, but they left him out for the World Cup. He is expected to make his return to the squad along with S Iyer. A Patel is expected to strengthen the spin contingent as he also adds to the battling depth.
H Patel set the IPL on fire by taking the most number of wickets in any IPL season and got the man of the tournament award. However, he wasn’t a part of the T20 World Cup squad but is expected to play against the Kiwis.
M Siraj, who has bowled extremely well for India in the test format, is expected to get an opportunity to play against the Kiwis.
The rest of the players to feature in this T20 series include S Yadav, H Pandya, I Kishan, R Pant, S Thakur, D Chahar, Varun Chakravarthy, V Chahar.