T20 1: New Zealand vs India
Twenty overs a side—packed with action, big hits, death bowling and mind-blowing fielding acrobatics … we just love T20 cricket at SBOBET!
And it doesn’t get much better than T20 1: New Zealand vs India which pitches two of the most spectacular one-day sides on the planet together at the Westpac Stadium in Wellington on Wednesday. Then we’re off to Auckland for the second before the series concludes at Hamilton.
The Black Caps need to make a fast start after India dominated the recent ODI series, but there is no Virat Kohli to contend with and the hosts have already shown that can make a big difference.
Black Caps must take their chance
India have just completed a 4-1 win over New Zealand in the ODI series, planting a seed of doubt in the Black Caps’ minds around whether they can triumph over this superb side in the white ball game.
Both teams are hopeful of success in the upcoming ODI World Cup, but a drubbing at the hands of their rivals was not a good omen for the hosts.
This new series, however, gives New Zealand a fresh start and the perfect opportunity to show what they can do. Moreover, there is a chance for some of the lesser lights to shine, with big names in the New Zealand side missing.
Strike bowler Trent Boult is taking a rest, and that’s good news for India after the quickie destroyed them in the fourth ODI at Hamilton with a return of five for 21. Tellingly, that was the first game Kohli sat out.
Big-hitting opener Martin Guptill is also out, having failed to recover from a back injury. He’s unlikely to return in this series crammed into five days, so he was replaced by promising all-rounder Jimmy Neesham—a real talent who has shown what he can do by smashing five sixes in an over in a recent ODI against Sri Lanka.
Interestingly, the Black Caps still have their most reliable big hitter in Colin Munro, currently ranked second in the ICC listings.
To keep the India batsmen occupied, New Zealand may turn to slow bowling with their best T20 bowler, right-arm spinner Ish Sodhi who sits fourth in the ICC world rankings in the 20-over game.
Does Kohli’s absence give New Zealand hope?
India’s talismanic skipper, Kohli, has been rested for five games (the final two ODIs and the three T20s). Did that have anything to do with India’s capitulation in the fourth ODI? I’m sure it did.
New Zealand won’t need reminding that India are blessed with world-class talent throughout the team though, with experienced campaigners Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan both capable of winning a game on their own.
And in their bowling attack, the visitors have a lethal combination of spin and pace. Attacking leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal is in excellent form after picking up three for 41 in the final ODI—where Neesham top-scored for the Black Caps—while the versatile Kuldeep Yadav is currently the third best bowler in the world.
India’s pace attack is likely to be spearheaded by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who looks back to his best after being rested on the recent tour of Australia.
Previous New Zealand vs India results tell an interesting story: India have won 12 of the 19 games played between these two teams since 2016, averaging over 50 runs more than their opponents; however, in this format, New Zealand have had the upper hand.
On the nine occasions these two teams have met in T20, the Black Caps have triumphed in six, India in two and there has been one no-result. India did win the last series 2-1 back in November 2017.
New Zealand took a 3-0 hammering at the hands of Pakistan in the UAE back in October, but they got back to winning ways in the one-off T20 against Sri Lanka last month.
The visitors have been in a fine run, beating England last summer followed by a 3-0 win over the West Indies. Then India played out a 1-1 draw with Australia before hopping over to New Zealand.
What are the odds?
The New Zealand-India betting odds pitch the visitors as slight favourites, and that makes perfect sense in light of recent form and rankings.
India are second and New Zealand sixth in the world ICC T20 rankings. However, in their first game without Kohli, the favourites were destroyed in Hamilton.
India are at 1.75 to win, but I’m sticking my neck out and backing New Zealand’s boys to come out fighting. If Neesham and Munro get going, we’ll see fireworks for sure!
For an alternative bet, India are at 1.85 to have the bigger opening partnership, with New Zealand at 2.01. The absence of big-hitting opener Guptill and strike bowler Boult might well weaken the hosts in that area.
Disclaimer: Odds are correct at time of publish.
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