Euro 2020 Special

India vs New Zealand 2nd T20I Preview: India Looking To Recover After Opening Loss

India will play New Zealand in their second T20I at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on Sunday, January 29th. The match is scheduled to begin at 7.30 pm local time.

The home side find themselves in the position of having to come from behind in the series. That was after they lost the first match in Ranchi by 21 runs, in part due to a misreading of the pitch.

Expecting a surface that would favour batting, instead they found a pitch that was slow and turned with the New Zealand spinners exploiting the conditions to greater effect.

Having breezed past the same opponents in the ODI series, this was something of a rude awakening for India.


The pitch

The stadium has both black and red soil pitches, so it will be interesting which one the ground staff chose for this match.

Historically, the team batting first wins because the pitch tends to slow down the further as game progresses. That means that winning the toss is important, because teams do not want to have to chase on this ground.

The majority of wickets in Lucknow are taken by the quicker bowlers, which may tilt the balance towards India.

India have played two previous T20Is in Lucknow and won them both

Previous international matches

India have played two previous T20Is in Lucknow and won them both with their highest total being the 199/2 that they made here against Sri Lanka last year.

The highest individual score on this ground was the 111 not out that Rohit Sharma – rested for this series – made against the West Indies in 2018.

It has also been used by Afghanistan on three occasions because the political situation means that they are condemned to a nomadic existence, playing their home games in a series of neutral venues. They have won all the games they have played here.


The weather

The weather conditions on Sunday will be cooler than the teams experienced in Ranchi with temperatures dropping to 15 degrees Celsius in the evening. Although there is rain forecast for the area on Monday, this should not affect the match.


The teams

Both teams are likely to name unchanged teams.

Whilst India may be tempted to recall Prithvi Shaw, he may have to wait for his chance until the third game in Indore especially if that proves to be a dead rubber. New Zealand, for their part, will not want to upset a team that has finally found how to win on this tour.


Key Players

With this pitch likely to offer more help to the batters than Ranchi did in the end, then this is another chance for Suryakumar Yadav and Devon Conway to showcase their talents.

Yadav, the number one ranked T20I batter in the world, has just been named ICC Men’s T20I Player of the Year for 2022, and briefly suggested he could rescue India after slumping to 15/3 with a typically attacking 47 in Ranchi.

Conway, who is third in the ICC T20I rankings, had struck a century in a losing cause in the third ODI and followed that up with 52 in Ranchi which provided the platform for his team to post a completive score.

Arshdeep Singh

The spotlight is on the young fast bowler after another disappointing performance in Ranchi.

Despite his undoubted talent, he had demonstrated his inconsistency earlier in the month against Sri Lanka, conceding five no balls in one T20I, and he again proved expensive for his team in the first game against New Zealand. His four over spell cost 51 runs, including 27 off the final over.

Death bowling is an art and one that he has fully to master.



Winning the toss in Lucknow may play have a bigger effect on the outcome of the match than at some other grounds.

However, all other things being equal, the nature of the surface favours the home soil, mainly because it cancels out some of the threat posed by the opposition spin attack.

If India can get a good start and put the runs on the board, then at least on paper, they have the stronger pace attack who can get among the wickets.

A home victory would set everything up for the decider in Ahmedabad next Wednesday.




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