India lost all their matches against New Zealand, the fifth and last one coming at the ICC T20 in 2016.
A day before the first T20 International against New Zealand, it was Virender Sehwag who held centrestage, unveiling a gate named after him. On Tuesday, it will be the turn of veteran left-arm pacer Ashish Nehra, also from Delhi, to bid his India career goodbye.
Nehra chose to skip the optional practice session for Team India, just like some other big stars. The six players in the nets – KL Rahul, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammad Siraj, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik and Manish Pandey – were going through the paces with due intensity.
India has a poor T20 record against New Zealand — five losses in five. The onus obviously would be on India to correct the record. For Virat Kohli, it must rankle that New Zealand has looked invincible in a format that is accepted. The most popular form of the game in contemporary cricket.
After some bitter competition in the one-day series India won 2-1. The shortest format expected to generate greater excitement. The pitch and the outfield hold a lot of promise.
The teams (from): India: Virat Kohli (capt.), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, K.L. Rahul, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik, M.S. Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Ashish Nehra and Mohammed Siraj.
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (capt.), Ross Taylor, Trent Boult, Tom Bruce, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham (wk), Henry Nicholls, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi and Tim Southee.