IND vs NZ Match Preview: What will Hardik Pandya do to Bhuvneshwar-Pant? 2nd match against New Zealand tomorrow

New Delhi. India’s young team is expected to face a tough challenge from New Zealand in the second T20 International match. In this, Captain Hardik Pandya’s eyes will be on getting some ‘game time’. At the same time, Bhuvneshwar Kumar will also have a tough challenge to remain in this short format. The opening match of the series in Wellington was abandoned due to rain and the Indian players will be eager to take the field here.

The place where this ground is situated is called ‘Bay of Plenty’. Indian cricket has a lot to think about at the moment as far as the approach in the T20 format is concerned. The boundary of the ‘Bay Oval’ ground is very large and it is an open ground which was not there in Wellington. On this tour, the Indian team management may have to deal with the ongoing dilemma regarding the presence of 33-year-old Bhuvneshwar Kumar. There are some unresolved questions, the sooner they are answered, the better it will be for Indian cricket.

Will Bhuvi be in the T20 World Cup to be held in 2024 when his pace is showing a decline? Does he have enough time to sort out his issues as he has not been so effective on batting-friendly pitches anymore? There aren’t many T20 Internationals next year and he’s pretty much a one-format player, so where does that leave him? At this time all the answers look ‘negative’, so a question arises whether playing as the most senior fast bowler would not be like snatching the opportunity from the youth.

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This sword of questions will be hanging in front of interim head coach VVS Laxman and captain Hardik Pandya. Bhuvneshwar is standing close to his personal achievement (just 4 wickets away from taking the most 40 wickets in a calendar year) and not playing him would be a demoralizing decision. But all the 36 wickets that Bhuvi has taken have come in bowler-friendly conditions and that too against weak opponents. And Bhuvneshwar has failed in front of a slightly flat pitch or an excellent batting attack.

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But if he is fed, then the team management will miss the opportunity to test the pair of Umran Malik and Mohammad Siraj, how they play in pressure situations against strong players like Finn Allen, Glenn Phillips and Devon Conway. India’s fastest bowler Umran needs to be groomed. Pakistan have shown what sheer pace can do with Haris Rauf, Shaheen Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah.

Rishabh Pant can start the innings
When Rishabh Pant was appointed as the vice-captain of the team for the T20 International series, it was said that he would open the innings but it remains to be seen whether Shubman Gill will build on his confidence in this format or whether specialist Ishan Kishan will partner him. Another option can also be between KKR captain Shreyas Iyer and Deepak Hooda. To include both Hooda and Shreyas, Kishan will have to be dropped from the playing XI. Along with Sanju Samson and captain Pandya Suryakumar Yadav, there are two batsmen who will be quick to score runs and also play the role of ‘finisher’.

Yuzvendra Chahal is sure to play, did not get a chance in the World Cup
Glenn Phillips is one of the most exciting T20 batsmen in recent times and when Yuzvendra Chahal gets his first match after a long time, the contest between the two will be worth watching. Regular head coach Rahul Dravid kept Chahal on the bench throughout the T20 World Cup. Phillips scored 108 runs in 51 balls in his last match against the best bowling attack of West Indies at the same ground.

Washington Sundar will be included in the team as an all-rounder.
Ravichandran Ashwin’s T20 international career is almost over, so Washington Sundar will get a chance to play for a long time as a specialist off-spinner. Harshal Patel will also get time to get back in rhythm. Arshdeep Singh is sure to play in the next two matches as a left-arm fast bowler.

Teams are as follows:

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (Captain), Finn Allen, Michael Bracewell, Devon Conway, Lockie Ferguson, Daryl Mitchell, Adam Milne, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner.

India: Hardik Pandya (Captain), Rishabh Pant, Ishan Kishan, Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Harshal Patel, Mohammad Siraj, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh and Umran Malik .

Tags: Hardik Pandya, IND vs NZ, india vs new zealand, kane williamson, Shubman Gill

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