India, NZ set to lock horns in five-match T20I series

Team India will kick-start a month and half long tour of New Zealand with a five-match T20I series on Friday (24th Jan) in Auckland.

Post the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, we are yet to lose a series in any format of the game. But the challenge will be different down under. It becomes a different ball game when a team tours New Zealand. 

The two sides have played some of the best cricket over the years every time they faced each other. From Gautam Gambhir's match-saving innings (137 runs at Napier Test, 2008-09) to Ravinder Jadeja's late blitz that helped India settle for a tie while chasing 315 runs to win.

Let’s take a quick look at some interesting facts between both the sides:

- New Zealand are one of the toughest sides to beat in their backyard. India's T20I record against the Kiwis isn't that great either. With 27% win against the home side, it is worse among any other team in the world.

- India played their first T20I against New Zealand during the 2007 Twenty 20 World Cup in South Africa. We lost that game, but went on to win the trophy.

- Ross Taylor is the only player left from both sides' current squad that played the 2007 league stage match of the Twenty 20 World Cup.

- India has good memories of Eden Park. The last time we played at this venue, we registered our maiden T20I win against New Zealand on Kiwi soil.

- Kuldeep Yadav has played two T20Is against New Zealand and has taken three wickets. In T20s, he did manage to get the wicket of Kane Williamson twice out of seven times they have faced each other.

- Overall, the left-arm chinaman has great numbers in T20I cricket to back himself in the away games.

Kuldeep in T20Is: Inns 20, Wickets 39, Avg. 13.8, Econ 7.1
Away: Inns 10, Wkts 21, Avg. 11.5, Econ 6.3
Home: Inns 10, Wkts 18, Avg. 16.4, Econ 8

Two of the best leaders of the game, Virat Kohli & Kane Williamson are up against each other for the first time since India's emotion-filled semi-final loss during the CWC 2019 in England and Wales. Emotions were high during that campaign for both sides and it wouldn't be any less this time around.

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (Capt), Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Scott Kuggeleijn, Colin Munro, Colin de Grandhomme, Tom Bruce, Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (wk), Hamish Bennett, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Blair Tickner

India: Virat Kohli (Capt.), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul (wk), Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Navdeep Saini, Washington Sundar