All Play And No Rest – A Low Intensity Contest Awaits

Cricket News By TODAYLIVESCORE.INFO - All play and no rest - a low intensity contest awaits. Can Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner trump against left handers?

All Play And No Rest – A Low Intensity Contest AwaitsCan Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner trump against left handers?

The overview:

How much cricket is too much cricket? Three days after playing the T20 WC final, New Zealand will play the opening T20I against India. Now, more than ever, teams face the increasing need to prioritise player wellbeing and manage workloads. Tim Southee has admitted that the bubble life and quarantine has been taking a toll on players while India head coach Rahul Dravid stressed on the eve of the game that the management is already looking at ways to plan breaks for the players.

The scheduling, especially for this series, is going to be extremely tough for New Zealand. They play three matches in five days before the Test series. Factor this, after a tough loss in the final where the players were at the venue till around 11 pm, they had to travel to Jaipur via Sharjah the next morning and prepare for the three-match series. But the road to T20 WC 2022 in Australia starts now and the players have been forced to keep going.

New Zealand are coming off a draining world tournament and it won't be a surprise if they do lack the intensity. India, on the other hand, can hardly offer any excuses, especially after their Group stage exit. New T20I captain Rohit Sharma spoke about the need to “create their own template” and ensuring “the players are given the required confidence” in the lead to the tournament in Australia. And it'll be crucial for the new combination of Dravid and Rohit to set things right early.

When: India vs New Zealand, 1st T20I, November 17, 7pm local time

Where: Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur

What to expect: The venue has never hosted a T20I and the last international fixture was in 2013 when Australia were bullied by Rohit and Virat Kohli. The batters can expect a true wicket where stroke-making should be easy. In IPL 2019, in the seven matches at the venue, six were won by sides chasing. It won't be a surprise if the captain winning the toss decides to tilt the odds in his favour by chasing.

Head to head: India 6 – 9 New Zealand. As tough as it may be for the Indian fans, here's a scorecard to the last time these two sides met in a T20I.

Team watch:


Injured/Unavailable: Several key figures have been rested for this series. Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Ravindra Jadeja, Hardik Pandya and Shardul Thakur have been rested while the selectors have decided to reward the top performers from IPL 2021.

Tactics & Matchups: In the two matches that all but sealed India's exit from the T20 WC – against Pakistan and New Zealand – the batting unit had failed to neutralise the spin threat from the opposition. In the two games, the batters made 69 runs from the 14 overs they faced from the spinners and lost three wickets. New Zealand come armed once again with Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi in their line-up and the onus is on the Indian batters to make a statement.

Probable XI: Rohit Sharma (c), Ishan Kishan, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), R Ashwin, Axar Patel/Harshal Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar/Mohammed Siraj, Deepak Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal.

New Zealand:

Injured/Unavailable: Kane Williamson will sit out of the T20I series and focus on the preparation for the Test series. Tim Southee will lead the team. Lockie Ferguson, who was ruled out of the T20 WC, has made good recovery and is expected to be available for selection.

Tactics & Matchups: In the two matches leading to the final, New Zealand were forced to keep Santner out of the attack given the presence of left-handers – Najibullah Zadran for Afghanistan, and Dawid Malan and Moeen Ali for England. Both Santner and Sodhi struggled against left-handers in the tournament and picked just two wickets. Kishan and Pant's role will be crucial if India want to curb the effect the spinners have.

Probable XI: Daryl Mitchell, Martin Guptill, Mark Chapman, Glenn Phillips, Tim Seifert (wk), James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Adam Milne/Kyle Jamieson, Tim Southee (c), Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult.

What they said:

“They are a very formidable team. And over the years, we've seen that they play well as a team. Having said that, you know, this is not really dependent on one individual. There are other individuals there who take the game away from the opposition on any given date. So I think, for us, we just have to focus on the entire team of this. You've seen it in the World Cup, like different individuals have come at different times and done well. So you know, the idea for us and the focus will be on the entire unit” – Rohit Sharma.

“It's obviously a pretty busy schedule, we knew this was going to be the case even leading into the T20 WC, we had a series in Bangladesh and Pakistan, (some of) the guys were at the IPL, so something over the last couple of years have made scheduling a lot tougher. Sides have to do quarantine and what not, it's been a bit of a challenge but as players you just have to crack on and play what's in front of you” – Tim Southee.

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