Euro 2020 Special

New Zealand v India 2nd T20I Preview; Both Teams Hoping for Better Weather Conditions

New Zealand and India will play their second T20I at the Bay Oval in Tauranga on Sunday, November 20th (the same day as the FIFA World Cup starts in Qatar). The match is due to begin at 7.30 pm local time.

Both teams will be hoping that the match can take place without interruption after the first game in the three match series in Wellington was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to incessant rain.

With the two sides keen to get back into action after they each went out of the World Cup at the semi-final stage, it was doubly frustrating for them to be confined to the pavilion starring glumly at the skies above Wellington.


New Zealand team news

New Zealand had already confirmed that both Trent Boult and Martin Guptill had been omitted from their squad as they look to build for the future. Boult’s bowling ability, in particular, remains highly prized but, following his decision to turn down a central contract, it was felt time to turn to explore younger alternatives.

The team continues to be led by Kane Williamson who has said that he wants to continue playing all three formats of the game,, something that is starting to become a rarity. It has not been the best of weeks for the 32-year old, after his Indian T20 league franchise, the Sunrisers Hyderabad, dropped him after an eight year association because of his poor form with the bat in IPL 2022. He has indicated that he will be watching developments in the mini-auction next month with interest to see if he is picked up by another franchise.


India team news

Although the Indian team for the Wellington match was not announced, indications coming from the dressing room were that it was likely to be considerably changed from the side that was thrashed in their World Cup semi-final by England.

Some of these were by necessity. Captain Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul are not with the touring party in New Zealand, having been given the series off. Hardik Pandya has assumed the role of skipper in their absence, with Rishabh Pant acting as his deputy.

However, with some calling for India to adopt a more aggressive approach to T20 cricket after their World Cup exit, some are likely to be given a chance to stake a claim for a place in the team.

Among them is Shubman Gill, long tipped for a big international future, but who has so far struggled for consistency at test and ODI level. He has yet to make his T20I debut for India but having played a major role in the Gujarat Titan’s unexpected IPL triumph this year, this now appears the right opportunity to blood him.

Ishan Kishan is another man who has yet to translate his Indian T20 franchise form to the T20I arena, but with his ability to go after bowlers from the start of an innings, this could be his opportunity to carve out a niche for himself at the top of the order.

Yuzvendra Chahal was part of the World Cup squad, but, in the event, did not see a single minute of action in Australia, with the team management seemingly unwilling to trust his leg break bowling in big matches. Again, there have been suggestions that this attitude is outmoded with players like England Adil Rashid proving it is possible for leg spinners to both take wickets and strangle the scoring rate in T20 cricket. Chahal will be keen to remind the selectors as to what he can do.


Weather forecast

Unfortunately for all concerned, the weather forecast for the Tauranga area for Sunday is not promising with the threat of more rain and even lightening. All the indications at present are that another washout could be on the cards or, at best, a contracted match.


The pitch

The Bay Oval located in the Bay of Plenty area of New Zealand has hosted seven previous T20Is and, in each case, the side that batted first won.

Known as a good hard surface on which to bat, the average first innings score here has been 199.



With another big doubt over the weather, the teams will travel to Tauranga more in hope than expectation. However, if play is possible, then winning the toss and batting first is clearly the preferred tactic on this ground.

Whoever calls heads or tails correctly will have a simple decision to make.




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