New Zealand will lock horns with India in the upcoming first T20 International (ODI) of the three-match series at the Sky Stadium in Wellington on Friday, November 18.

Both teams will be playing their first bilateral series after competing in the recently concluded T20 World Cup 2022. Interestingly, both New Zealand and India made it to the semi-final of the tournament but lost against Pakistan and England, respectively.

In the absence of some senior players, all-rounder Hardik Pandya will be leading the Indian side. New Zealand, on the other hand, will be captained by their regular skipper Kane Williamson.

Pitch and Weather report:

The track at Sky Stadium offers equal support to both batters and bowlers. The average score batting first at this venue is 162. There is a possibility of showers in Wellington in the evening; therefore, the rain could impact the game.

Probable XIs:

New Zealand: Finn Allen, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson, Glenn Phillips, Daryl Mitchell, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Adam Milne, Lockie Ferguson, Blair Tickner

India: Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan, Sanju Samson, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant, Deepak Hooda/Washington Sundar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik

Recent form:

New Zealand: LWLWW (last five completed T20Is, most recent first)
India: LWWLW

What they said:

“From our viewpoint, it is that ability to keep looking forward and seeing, crystal ball gazing a little bit into what we think it might look like in a year [at the World Cup]. We’ve gone with Finn and are giving him that opportunity to bat at the top of the order,” said New Zealand head coach Gary Stead ahead of the match.

“In T20 cricket, it’s important to be aggressive. We have the guys who have this ability to express themselves. He (Hardik Pandya) is a players’ captain; he is very approachable. All players confide in him, and that’s something I really like about him,” said India’s stand-in head coach VVS Laxman.

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