New Zealand and West Indies will lock horns in the first T20I of the three-matches series at Eden Park. It will mark the start of the busy home summer of New Zealand.
Match Timings: Nov 27, 11:30 AM (IST)
New Zealand will also start its international assignment with the T20 series against two-times T20 WC Champions, West Indies. For the T20 series, the Kiwis have rested their two major players, Kane Williamson and Trent Boult, who had a hectic schedule in Indian T20 League. Tim Southee will lead the side for the first two T20Is. The Blackcaps included two uncapped players, Devon Conway and Kyle Jamieson, for this series. Jamieson recently made his debut against India in Tests and ODIs. He got the reward for his excellent bowling skills. Conway had good numbers in first-class cricket. He can also bowl medium-pace. Martin Guptill and Ross Taylor will have a big responsibility in the absence of Williamson.
In the T20s, New Zealand had a disappointing home season in 2019-20 as they lost to England 3-2, and India took a 5-0 clean sweep in January this year. New Zealand’s focus is more on the upcoming Test series, so they gave other players a chance to prove their worth and help Kiwis nurture promising talents ahead of T20 World Cup 2021. Blackcaps haven’t featured much in competitive cricket. Taylor only appeared in Caribbean League and Indian T20 League; only Lockie Ferguson has played enough matches from the current squad. This T20 side has a good mix-up of young and experienced players who can surprise the West Indies at home.
On the other hand, West Indies had enough preparation during the pandemic as their majority of the players participated in Caribbean T20 League, followed by Indian T20 League. Kieron Pollard won two trophies during this run, including one as captain, and he has been consistent with the bat. Nicholas Pooran was also in good touch in both leagues. He was one of the leading run-getters in the Caribbean League, and in the UAE, he was the power-hitter for Punjab, scoring 353 runs at a strike rate of 169.
Hetmyer was off the colors in UAE, but he is a T20 package, and he can draw good impact in top-order. The bowling might be a worrying sign for Windies. Keemo Paul and Sheldon Cottrell will be the key figures for Windies, followed by the spin from Hayden Walsh. If we compare the current sides, Kiwis have the upper hand with a balanced unit, but West Indies have players like Pollard and Pooran who can change the game within a few deliveries.
Eden Park is a batting paradise, and it offers a good amount of runs. The short boundaries can offer lot of runs here. Both sides have hard-hitters, so we expect 180-190 in the opening game. Chasing is an ideal call on this track as the batting would be more comfortable in the second half.
Tim Southee (C), Ross Taylor, Kyle Jamieson, Devon Conway, Martin Guptill, Hamish Bennett, Jimmy Neesham, Tim Seifert/Glenn Philips (WK), Mitchell Santner, Lockie Ferguson, Ish Sodhi
Kieron Pollard (C), Nicholas Pooran (WK), Shimron Hetmyer, Kyle Mayers, Brandon King, Rovman Powell, Keemo Paul, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas, Hayden Walsh, Kesrick Williams/Romario Shepherd
Plunket Shield 2020 – M: 4, Runs: 410, Avg: 58.57
Caribbean T20 League 2020 – M: 11, Runs: 316, Avg: 35.11
Indian T20 League 2020 – M: 16, Runs: 268, SR: 191.42
Caribbean T20 League 2020 – M: 11, Runs: 207, Avg: 51.75
Indian T20 League 2020 – M: 14, Runs: 353, SR: 35.30
Caribbean T20 League 2020 – M: 11, Runs: 345, Avg: 27.22