India will play New Zealand in what will be the second and final World Cup warm-up match for both countries, ahead of the start of the Super 12 stage of the competition.
The match, which is being held in Brisbane is scheduled to begin at 6 pm local time.
For both teams, this is the final opportunity for any experimentation they might want to try, with them both in earnest action in the competition itself in a few days. New Zealand will feature in the opening match on Saturday against the hosts Australia in Sydney, whilst India begins their own campaign the following day against their old foe Pakistan in Melbourne.
Both had contrasting fortunes in their first World Cup matches. India snatched an improbable victory against Australia, whilst New Zealand were thrashed by South Africa.
India stuns the hosts
For much of Monday’s match against Australia, it looked like the hosts were set for a hard-fought win. After being out into bat India had made 186/7 from their 20 overs, with KL Rahul and Suryakumar Yadav both making half centuries.
In reply, led by skipper Aaron Finch, Australia seemed to have the run chase well in hand, and needed just 16 to win with six wickets in hand at the start of the penultimate over.
But the loss of Finch for 76, and a brilliant run out changed the momentum, and then Mohammad Shami, bowling his first competitive over in three months, stamped his own imprint on the game. He took three wickets in four balls, and, with another run-out interspersed in the middle of that sequence, the home side were all out for 180.
They had lost their last six wickets in the space of 11 balls for just 9 runs.
New Zealand’s dismal batting day
New Zealand are regarded as one of the dark horses for the World Cup, but they will have to perform substantially better than they did against the South Africans, especially in the batting department, if they are to justify that status.
Put into bat, they were unable to cope with the spin pair of Keshav Maharaj and Tabraiz Shamsi who took five wickets between them for the concession of just 23 runs, and were bundled out for 98 in the 18th over.
Only three men made it into double figures.
South Africa knocked off the runs required with a minimum of fuss, losing just one wicket in the process, and with more than 8 overs to spare. Rilee Rossouw continued the recent form he showed against India with an unbeaten 54.
It was a bad day at the office for the Back Caps, whilst a welcome morale booster for the South Africans.
Head to head record
The two countries have played 20 previous T20I matches and the current record stands 11 wins to India as opposed to 9 for South Africa.
Five of the Indian wins have come on home soil and six in New Zealand. The only two games that were previously played in neutral companies were both won by the Black Caps in World Cups.
However, the weight of recent history is very much with India. They have won the last five matches and completed a series whitewash when they visited the Kiwis two years ago.
Both sides are likely to be unchanged, but the question for India is how many overs they will give Shamsi this time. With Jasprit Bumrah injured, he now has the chance to play a major role for his country in the World Cup, but, given his recent inactivity, there is a risk of asking him to bowl too much too soon.
India must consider themselves favourites for this match, given the recent head to heads between these two countries and the fact that they beat South Africa in their series a few weeks ago, who in turn have just defeated the Kiwis.
Cricket, of course, does not always work out like that, but India will not want to go into that match with Pakistan with a defeat under their belt. Direction of travel is always important heading into a major tournament.
New Zealand for their part know that they need to play substantially better than they managed against the South Africans.
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