Indian team which looks stronger on paper will start as firm favorite when they take on New Zealand in first twenty20 international at AMI Stadium, Christchurch. Indian team after achieving success in the last two series in ODI will have uphill task of beating the New Zealanders on their own backyards.
Indian team who toured New Zeland six years ago beaten comprehensively in one day series as well as test series and by seeing their past performance in New Zealnd no one is taking this tour lightly. However in the shorest version of the game Indian team are world champions and by going with current form of the Indians, New Zelands have to perform well in every department of the game to upset the Indians.
The biggest disappointment for the Indians is they will play their first game without any prior practice game on the tour. This is once again a contest between an Indian team promising a lot and a New Zealand team that knows their home conditions well, a side who don't have the best quality possible but are fully capable of drawing the opposition to their level. As we have seen recently how young New Zealand teams performed down under against the Australians in twenty20 as well as in ODI series.
Now India do have quality pace attack with Zaheer and Ishant but the faith of series still depends on how batsman able to adjust themselves on New Zealand pitches.
Watch out for
J. Oram: A man who did it for his team so many times is making comeback after little break from International Cricket due to injury. But he can be dangerous in any condition both with bat and ball.
Pathan Brothers: Both players did for India in the last twenty20 encounter against Sri LankaNew Zealand at Christchurch. with bat and ball. Both are very useful cricketer and will be eying to perform well during first twenty20 against
Pitch and conditions
The pitch and condition at AMI Stadium, Christchurch is dry and will support the batsman. We can witness high scoring game. Team batting first will eye score in excess of 175 in the 20 overs quota.
Stats & Trivia
So far only one twenty20 International played at this ground between England and New Zealand. England team came out as winner in this match while batting first and posted 193 runs on the board.
Both teams had played one twenty20 international in 2007 twenty20 world cup prio to game at Christchurch. New Zealnd came out as winner on that occassion beating India by 10 runs.
Gautam Gambhir is the highest run getter (312 runs) for India in twenty20 format while Irfan Pathan is the highest wicket taker (13 wickets) in the shortest format of the game.
Indian team is likely to stick with same playing XI apart from one changes that beaten Sri Lanka in only twenty international. With return of Harbhajan Singh, R.Jadeja is liely to sit out for him. On the other hand New Zeland is boosted by the return of J.Oram and R.Taylor and both is likely to be included in playing XI.
Likely Playing XI for both teams (Match is schedule to begin at India Time on 25th Of February)
India Squad: V.Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, S.Raina, Y.Singh, M.S.Dhoni (Captain & WK), Yusuf Pathan, R.Sharma, H.Singh, Z.Khan,I.Sharma, I.Pathan.
New Zealand Squad: Brendon McCullum (WK), Martin Guptill, Neil Broom, Jesse Ryder, Ross Taylor, Grant Elliott, Jacob Oram, Daniel Vettori (Captain), Iain O'Brien, Tim Southee, Ian Butler.