India and New Zealand were all set to take on each other in the series opener today at the Wellington Regional Stadium. Unfortunately not a single over was bowled as the match was abandoned due to rain.
Players of both teams however were not very disappointed with the result as it gives them some more rest time post the ICC T20 World Cup 2022. Instead of traveling back home, team India had to travel to New Zealand two days after their semifinal defeat to England.
Gill, Iyer, Kishan, and Samson Were Part of the Playing XI Today
With the top guns, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, and Virat Kohli being rested for the series, the younger guys have got an opportunity to make their mark. The top order for India in today’s match was a bit more formidable compared to New Zealand.
Ishan Kishan, Shubman Gill, and Sanju Samson can strike the ball really hard. These three would have definitely taken advantage of the powerplay overs. Ishan Kishan likes to go big no matter who the bowler is. The three were accompanied by Shreyas Iyer who plays a similar innings to Virat Kohli.
With all the striking on the opposite side of the pitch, he looks to build an innings and then fire off toward the end. Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya were the only two batsmen for India in the ICC T20 World Cup who could play an Andre Russel-type innings. Although for this series the batting line-up is really powered with some six-hitting batsmen.
This Will be VVS Laxman’s First Series as Head-Coach in the Absence of Rahul Dravid
Along with the senior players being given some rest, the BCCI has also decided to give head coach Rahul Dravid some off time. VVS Laxman has been appointed as the stand-in coach for team India.
On the eve of the opening game, interim coach VVS Laxman spoke at a press conference and was all praise for the Indian skipper. "He makes a fantastic leader. We have observed his work with the Gujarat Titans in the IPL. Being in charge of the tournament in the franchise's inaugural year and winning the league are not small accomplishments "Laxman stated.
“He is not only tactically sound but also very calm on the field, which is something that is very necessary at the top level," according to the coach who has spent a lot of time with him since the Ireland series.
Hardik Pandya and VVS Laxman getting along are a positive for team India. VVS has also put his trust in Harshal Patel, Umran Malik, Arshdeep Singh, Kuldeep Yadav, and Yuzvendra Chahal to lead the bowling attack against the Kiwis.
Finn Allen Seems to Have Picked His Spot at the Top
Allen had a great outing at the ICC T20 World Cup. He put up a show against Australia in the very first match. With Allen opening the innings for New Zealand, Guptill’s place in the squad might just be at hold.
The Kiwis are showing some encouragement to the younger players to work on the next generation of cricketers. Trent Boult was also left out of the playing XI today. His reason for not being involved was merely that the board wants to prioritize the central contract holders.