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IND vs NZ 1st T20I preview: Upbeat India out to claim T20 honours as well against struggling Kiwis

India will face New Zealand in Ranchi in the 1st T20I (ICC/Twitter)

The upcoming T20I series between India and New Zealand, set to begin on January 27th, promises to be an exciting match-up between the current No. 1 T20I team, India, and fifth-ranked New Zealand. The series follows India’s commanding 3-0 victory in the ODI series, and both teams are eager to continue their winning ways.

With India having won three of their last five T20I matches, and New Zealand only managing one win in their last five T20Is, the odds are in India’s favour. The first match will take place at the JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi, with India’s all-rounder Hardik Pandya leading the team as captain, while Mitchell Santner will captain the Kiwi side.

The Indian team will be without key players like Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, but the team is full of fresh faces, with Pandya leading a relatively young team. The last time the two teams met in a T20I series was in November 2022, but the series was cut short due to rain, with India emerging victorious 1-0.

This time around, with no weather threats, both teams will be eager to take the lead. India’s batting will be led by Suryakumar Yadav, the current #1 T20I batter and ICC T20I Batter of the Year 2022, supported by the likes of Prithvi Shaw, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Rahul Tripathi, Deepak Hooda, Ishan Kishan and Jitesh Sharma.

The pace department will be led by Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik, Shivam Mavi, Mukesh Kumar and Hardik Pandya, with the spin department comprising wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, supported by all-rounders Washington Sundar and Deepak Hooda.

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