After a clean-sweep in the ODI series, India will kick off the T20I series against New Zealand in Ranchi on Friday (January 27). The Men in Blue hold a brilliant record over the Kiwis in the last few years. Since 2018, India have lost only three T20Is against the Blackcaps while winning on 10 occasions. The tourists will also be missing their key players including both their regular captain as well as the stand-in skipper - Kane Williamson and Tim Southee respectively. Yet, they are a side that cannot be taken lightly.
Ground Details and Team Combination
Ranchi’s JSCA International Stadium Complex is still a fairly new T20 venue. It has hosted only three T20Is and 25 T20s overall, since 2013. 16 of these 25 games have been won by the team bowling first. Dew plays a big part. Thus, you can chuck out the spinners of the team bowling second.
Overall, at an average run-rate of 7.8 since 2018, Ranchi is a venue for both batters and bowlers. The average first innings score has been 155. It is a big venue so a lot of batters are holed out at the boundary ropes.
Both sides have a number of all-rounders in their XIs. Picking the right ones can hold the key in this match.
While you could go for the above team, you can also choose your team from Cricket.com’s Fantasy Research Centre. You can use this tool to build your team with the help of algorithms. Then, based on your preferences, the platform will guide you through creating the ideal fantasy XI.
Stats That Matter
> Spinners in Ranchi average 22 runs per wicket at an economy of 6.9 in the first innings as compared to 28.3 and 7.3 while bowling second. Dew has a clear effect.
> Devon Conway has been in hot form in 2023. Though he hasn’t played any T20 cricket this year as yet, he has three hundreds in other formats in the month of January alone.
> Ruturaj Gaikwad is out of the series due to a wrist injury.
> Umran Malik is a wicket-taking machine. He has 34 wickets in 25 T20s since 2022. Among players available in this game, his wickets-per-innings ratio of 1.46 is the highest.
> Kuldeep Yadav has been on a redemption curve. In 2022, he snaffled 27 wickets at 16.1 balls apiece, his best bowling strike-rate since 2018.
Grand League Punts
> Shubman Gill’s T20I career scores read 7, 5 and 46. However, given his brilliant ODI form, you can take a punt on him given the skipper Hardik Pandya has confirmed that the 23-year old will be playing in this fixture.
> Glenn Phillips averages 37.04 at a strike-rate of 152.1 in T20Is since 2021. He is a must-pick player for this fixture. However, you can also take your chance by selecting him as your captain or vice-captain.
> Shivam Mavi is fairly new to international cricket but can be a handy pick for this game. Depending on which team is fielding second, you can drop the respective spinners from that side and pick the Uttar Pradesh all-rounder.
Here are the Top 10 Criclytics Projections
New Zealand: Finn Allen, Devon Conway (wk), Mark Chapman, Glenn Phillips, Daryl Mitchell, Michael Bracewell, Mitchell Santner ( c ), Ish Sodhi, Ben Lister, Lockie Ferguson, Blair Ticker
India: Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan (wk), Rahul Tripathi, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya ( c ), Deepak Hooda, Washington Sundar, Shivam Mavi, Kuldeep Yadav, Umran Malik, Arshdeep Singh