It was a show of might by the New Zealanders in the opening T20I of the series against Scotland, with Finn Allen and Ish Sodhi ensuring a comfortable walk in the park for the Kiwis. While Allen scored his first international century, for Sodhi, it was more of a regulation exercise to assert his dominance in the shortest version of the game.
For Scotland, there were hardly any positives to take away from the game. Barring Calum MacLeod and Chris Greaves, others failed to step up, and what we saw was one of the most one-sided games in recent memory. They will have to bring everything together to challenge the Blackcaps.
In 13 T20 matches at the venue, 3987 runs have been scored at a run-rate of 8.1 and an average of 24.6. Pacers have 57.3 % of the total wickets fallen at the venue but have a higher average (28.1) than the spinners (26.2). Spinners have had a better economy rate as well, which means both sides will be eager to use their tweakers to maximum advantage.
Teams have had an average batting first score of 165 runs whereas average winning score batting first comes to 179. Batting second here has been a problem, hence the problematic part of the issue. Hence, both sides may wish to bat first here, going against the conventional T20 narrative.
While you could go for the above team, you also have the option of choosing 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.
Captaincy and vice-captain suggestions
For small leagues: Finn Allen (c), Ish Sodhi (vc)
For Grand leagues: Ish Sodhi (c), Calum MacLeod (vc)
Grand League punts
*In his T20 career, Finn Allen strikes at 175.35 and averages 30.78. An incredible hitter of the cricket ball, it is his advantage in both grounds that make him such an enticing prospect in the fantasy XIs. Back him right away and make him the captain to bring home the maximum luck factor.
*Ish Sodhi has 12 wickets in the last five games for New Zealand. The last time he had gone wicket-less was 12 matches ago, hence there is a great deal of confidence in what Sodhi can do. Don’t think twice and add him to your fantasy XI right away.
*With the Grange Cricket Club Ground Raeburn Place in Edinburg supporting the spinners to a great deal, it is ideal to have Hamza Tahir in the side, whose success in the tri-series involving Namibia and Nepal made the associate world take a look at him. The slow left-armer is a pick that would yield dividends.
Here are top Criclytics Projections:
New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Finn Allen, Glenn Phillips, Daryl Mitchell, James Neesham, Michael Bracewell, Dane Cleaver (wk), Mitchell Santner (c), Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson, Ben Sears
Scotland: George Munsey, Calum MacLeod, Ollie Hairs, Richie Berrington (c), Matthew Cross (wk), Chris Greaves, Michael Leask, Mark Watt, Safyaan Sharif, Chris Sole, Hamza Tahir