Visakhapatnam: In a couple of hours the Indian team will take on New Zealand in the first match of the two-match T20 series. This will be the fourth international T20 match between the two sides and interestingly New Zealand have won all the past three matches. India, who won the inaugural T20 World Cup, are still to win a match against the Black Caps.
It is true that the stats do not show the complete story, the two teams have played only three matches and it is not a lot to judge. The last match that these two teams played was way back in 2009. So it has been more than three years since the teams have met in the shortest format of the game, but still it is a stat that Dhoni’s men would be eager to change.
There is no doubt that India will be favorites to win the Saturday’s match. Indian team has one of the most dangerous batting line-up in the world and though their bowling is the weak point, still it is good enough to control the proceedings, especially in the home conditions.
New Zealand on the other hand will be upbeat about their chances. T20 format is very unpredictable and it gives chance to lesser teams to pull up some surprising victories. New Zealand have some match winning players in their armory and the format is such that even two-three players can change the course of the match.
It is expected to be a high-scoring match in front of a full house and the World Champions of 2007 will be looking to win their first match against New Zealand.
Let’s have a look at how the matches went when these two teams met in the past.
1st Match at Johannesburg, Sept. 16, 2007: It was a match in the 2007 world cup in the league stage. India won the toss and elected to bat on a fat Wanderers pitch. New Zealand saw some solid contribution from Brendon McCullum (45) and Craig McMillan (44) to finish their innings at a score of 190. India in pursuit got off to a brilliant start with Gautam Gambhir (51) and Virender Sehwag (40) putting an opening stand of 76 inside the first six overs. From there India lost their way to fell short by ten runs.
2nd Match at Christchurch, Feb. 25, 2009: This was the first match of the two match series. India won the toss and elected to bat first. Sehwag (26 of 10 balls) got India off to a brisk start. Suresh Raina punished the Kiwi bowlers and made the maximum use of the small boundaries hitting five sixes in his innings of 61 runs. NZ in pursuit of 163 runs saw some solid bating from Brendon McCullum (56*), well supported by Guptill (41) and Oram (29). The Kiwis reached the target in the 19th over.
3rd Match at Wellington, Feb. 27, 2009: India was in a do-or-die situation having already won the second T20 match. This time the home team decided to field first. Yuvraj Singh for India scored 50 runs to take India’s total to 149. Brendon McCullum once again played a match winning knock of 69* to steer New Zealand to a series win.
By Indian Sports News Network