New Zealand vs West Indies T20I series was off to a roaring start, with the Kiwis just managing to bag the first match, and go 1-0 up in the series. Both the teams looked rusty in the first T20I, with the top-order failing to fire. Both NZ and WI were saved by a late-order push. Kieron Pollard (75 not out) and James Neesham (48 not out) were the heroes from their respective teams. But it was Lockie Ferguson who walked away with the man of the match honors with his 5/21.
The top-order of both teams have to come to the party in the all-important 2nd T20I at Mount Maunganui on Sunday. A win for New Zealand will seal the series. But West Indies, who are the current World T20 champions, would come hard at the Kiwis to level the series, and take it to the third T20I.
Both teams are without their key players. But West Indies are used to it as most of their top players prefer to ply their trade in lucrative domestic T20 tournaments. And hence, they have learned to make the most of the resources they have in the squad. But playing in New Zealand, where the conditions favor the pacers initially would be a huge challenge for them.
New Zealand will be without two of their first XI players in captain Kane Williamson and pace bowler Trent Boult. Tim Southee will be leading the team again. Playing at home would be an advantage for them, and they would look to seal the series in the 2nd T20I itself.
Match Toss Time: 6:30 Local (11:00 IST)
Match Start Time: 07:00 Local (11:30 IST)
Match Venue: Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui
Rain may spoilsport in Sunday’s match. And hence, a reduced match is likely if the rain comes down. So, winning the toss and choosing to field first would be the key.
It’s a flat pitch, but spinners could get some purchase from the wicket. Hence, both the teams may play an additional spinner as pacers could go for runs. A tall score close to 200 is predicted if the 20 overs are bowled.
New Zealand would like to stick with the same XI that won the first T20I. However, West Indies have had a measure of Hamish Bennett who conceded 50 runs in 2.3 overs. There is a chance Ish Sodhi might play as the leg-spinner could add variety to the bowling attack.
Tim Southee and Lockie Ferguson would have to do the job again for New Zealand to seal the series in the 2nd T20I itself. Experienced batsmen such as Ross Taylor and Martin Guptill need to fire for New Zealand to seal out a series win.
West Indies were saved by a Pollard’s knock in the first T20I as the top-order struggled to get going. Shimron Hetmyer and Nicholas Pooran went for 0 and 1 respectively. West Indies need both of them to fire. The two players are coming off a successful IPL 2020 season and should be able to regain momentum quickly in the 2nd T20I.
However, West Indies bowling lacked the firepower in the first T20I and must come back stronger, especially in the death overs, to pose a big challenge to Kiwi batsmen in the 2nd T20I. Kieron Pollard may choose to bat a bit higher up to anchor the innings, while big hitter Pooran could be given the task to finish off games.
Probable Playing Xl
New Zealand (NZ): Tim Seifert (wk), Martin Guptill, Glenn Phillips, Devon Conway, Ross Taylor, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee (captain), Kyle Jamieson, Lockie Ferguson, Ish Sodhi
West Indies (WI): Andre Fletcher, Brandon King, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran, Kieron Pollard (captain), Rovman Powell, Fabian Allen, Keemo Paul, Oshane Thomas, Kesrick Williams, Sheldon Cottrell
NZ vs WI Fantasy Team
Andre Fletcher, Ross Taylor, Devon Conway, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran, Kieron Pollard, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Lockie Ferguson, Oshane Thomas
Captain picks: Lockie Ferguson (NZ), Tim Southee (NZ)
Vice-Captain picks: Kieron Pollard (WI), James Neesham (NZ)
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