India aim to break Twenty20 worldwide jinx against New Zealand


Opening the innings against New Zealand in the first match of the ongoing women's T20 tri-series, Smriti went on the attack from the word go and reached her half-century in 24 balls to better her own 25-ball 50 record she had set a year ago in March against England.

India dominated the recent one-day global series against New Zealand 4-1 but it has been nine years their only previous Twenty20 series in New Zealand, when they were beaten 2-0.

India who played terrific cricket in the ODI series was shocked in the fourth ODI when they were bowled out for just 92 runs.

After praising the formidable top-order lineup in his column for ESPNCricinfo, Aakash has backed Ambati Rayudu for the No.4 spot saying that his gritty 90 in the fifth ODI against New Zealand in Wellington assured his ticket to England. Despite the change in format, at least a couple of Indian cricketers will be looking to press their ODI case with sound performances in the T20I series.

It was hardly a surprise that Seifert was capable of such destruction - he owns the fastest T20 century in New Zealand - but with the 24-year-old having an outside chance of making the ODI World Cup squad as keeping and batting cover, it was a timely reminder. Rishabh Pant will certainly get a nod in the middle order and in some ways this will also be his last audition before the World Cup. For someone who has won matches for India in the recent past, Karthik is usually the one who is left out when it comes to trying other players. The spin department will consist of chinaman Kuldeep Yadav and Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal.

In the bowling department, India will miss the services of pacer Jasprit Bumrah, who has also been rested. One out of Khaleel Ahmed or Siddarth Kaul will make it to the playing XI tomorrow.

Similarly, for India, the core of the team is expected to be the same as was in the ODIs with a couple of new entries.