Host nation India will begin their ICC World T20 campaign against the dangerous looking New Zealand side. India has been in terrific form leading to the World Cup T20. India won 10 matches out of 11 T20 internationals which included 1st T20 Asia Cup title. New Zealand also has been in great from in T20’s. Both the team would be looking for winning start as teams like Pakistan, Australia and Bangladesh also in the same group can make group stages tough going into the tournament. India will be looking to take advantage of home conditions where as New Zealand would be banking on their pace battery to stop the like of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli. Munro, Anderson and Guptill are in great form and would be looking to strike big.
Team Preview – India
India is looking very much settled unit. MS Dhoni has stated in press conferences he seem happy with the team. Runs from the bat of Yuvraj in the Asia cup and Dhoni’s big hitting form has made this Indian batting line up more threatening. Bumrah the find of the season for India has solved India depth bowling issues with his ability to bowl lethal yokers during end overs. Ashwin and Jadeja can be very lethal in home conditions. Overall India is looking a team to beat in this World Cup and is certainly one of the tournament favourites.
India would be playing same XI which played majorly of the Asia Cup matches including the final. Although Harbhajan bowled well in the limited opportunities but he is unlikely to make the cut ahead of Ashwin and Jadeja.
Team: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Ravinder Jadeja, Ravi Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Ashish Nehra
Team Preview – New Zealand
After the retirement of Mccullum chances for New Zealand in this World Cup were not looking very good. Form of Guptill and Munro has once again raised hopes for Black Caps. Southee and Bolt would be leading New Zealand attacks and the presence of all-rounder’s like Elliot, Anderson and Satner make this New Zealand team one of the best team they had in World Cup’s. New Zealeand has young captain Williamson who has matured very quickly and will be eyeing his first trophy in his debut ICC tournament. Beating India in their first match will give them a huge advantage going forward in the tournament.
New Zealand has quite a few all-rounders in the their team which would give them great depth in both bowling and batting. The major decision to make for team management would be including decinding between Nathan Macullum and Ish Sodhi or going with extra pace bowling option.
Team: Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson, Collin Munro, Ross Taylor, Grant Elliot, Corey Anderson, Luke Ronchi, Michtell Santner, Tim Southee, Trent Boult, Mitchell McClenaghan/Adam Milne, Ish Sodhi/Nathan Mccullum
Venue: Vidarbha Cricket Association (VCA) Stadium, Nagpur
It is one of the modern grounds of India. Team winning the toss might bowl first because of dew factor later in the evening. The pitch is going to be good for batting and likely to assist spin bowling if dew stays away.
Date: 15th March, 2016
Time: 19:30 IST