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Nehra Set to Retire as India Looks to Record First T20 Win vs NZ

India take on New Zealand in the first T20 of the three-match series at the Feroz Shah Kotla on Wednesday.

Published
Cricket
3 min read
India take on New Zealand in a T20I in Delhi on Wednesday. 
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Snapshot
  • India take on New Zealand in the first T20 of a three-match series, in Delhi on Wednesday.

  • India won the three-match ODI series against New Zealand 2-1.

  • Wednesday’s match will be Ashish Nehra’s last game before retiring from international cricket.

  • The match is scheduled to start at 7pm.

As Ashish Nehra prepares to wear the blue uniform one last time, India will be aiming to better their abysmal T20 record against New Zealand in the three-match series starting in Delhi on Wednesday.

The opening match at the Feroz Shah Kotla – India’s first T20 at the venue – will be Nehra's last game in competitive cricket and India would look to bid a befitting farewell to the seamer, whose career has been characterised by many injuries and many comebacks.

It is appropriate that the 38-year-old will be hanging up his boots in front of his home crowd and nothing would be sweeter than an Indian win against a team that has been their Achilles heel in this format.

India have so far lost all their matches against New Zealand, the fifth and last one coming at the ICC World T20 in 2016.
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For a team that has stormed its way to the top of world cricket with wins over Australia, England and Sri Lanka, among others, this piece of statistic certainly sticks out like a sore thumb.

That aside, India have also been in form; they beat New Zealand and Australia in the ODI series, and also drew with Australia in the 1-1 in the three-match T20 series.

With a strong all-round and in-form team at their disposal, India will fancy their chances of improving their record against the Kiwis.

Fresh from his fluent century in the series-deciding third and final ODI, which made him the fastest to complete 9,000 runs, skipper Virat Kohli will be eyeing yet another series victory.

He looked in great touch alongside Rohit Sharma, the game's other centurion, and the two batting stalwarts would eye an encore.

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Besides the vice-captain and the captain, Shikhar Dhawan and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who has a better record against the Kiwis among Indian players, will look to shoulder the batting responsibility.

All-rounder Hardik Pandya adds to the team's strength and the New Zealanders would be wary of him.

In bowling, India will look to Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah for breakthroughs with the new ball as well as in the death overs.

With his match-turning effort on Sunday, Bumrah showed why he is considered the best death bowler in the world.

Though he went for 92 in his 10-over spell in Kanpur, Bhuvneshwar has normally been a bowler captain Kohli could turn to.

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Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal will be high on confidence after his crucial two-wicket burst at Green Park and he is again going to be the key spinner. Kuldeep Yadav is the other spinner, who could figure in the playing XI.

Then there is Nehra, who will bring to an end 18 years of international cricket journey, and he must be hoping for that perfect ending.

Against the likes of Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Tom Latham, Trent Boult and Mitchell Santner, it will take some doing.

Teams

India: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shikhar Dhawan, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Siraj, Ashish Nehra (only for first game), Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, KL Rahul

New Zealand: Kane Williamson(capt), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Tom Bruce, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee

(With inputs from PTI.)

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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