First T20 between India and NZ to be played today

In Cricket, after winning the five-match ODI series 4-1, a confident Indian side will aim for another series win when they clash with the hosts New Zealand in the opening T20 International of the three-match series in Wellington today. The match will begin at 12:30 PM Indian time.

In absence of regular skipper Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma-led squad will be hoping to record a maiden T20 series win in New Zealand. Youngster Rishabh Pant, who was not part of the ODIs, returns to the squad.

Veteran Mahendra Singh Dhoni is also back in the T20 mix after missing the series against Australia last year. He last played a T20 in July last year. The series is also an opportunity for Dinesh Karthik and Ambati Rayudu to seal a permanent place in the middle-order. Eyes will also be on rookies Shubman Gill, Krunal Pandya and Siddharth Kaul.

New Zealand holds an upper hand over India in the shortest format. They beat India 2-0 in the 2008-09 in the sole bilateral series played on New Zealand soil till date.

Meanwhile, in Women’s Cricket, the Indian team will also play their opening game of the three-match T20 series against New Zealand beginning in Wellington today. The match will begin at 8:30 AM Indian time.

India won the three-match ODI series 2-1. Harmanpreet Kaur will lead the T20 side. All eyes will be on uncapped all-rounder Priya Punia, who replaced an out of form Veda Krishnamurthy in the squad.

It will be India’s first game in the shortest format ever since that infamous loss to England at the World T20 in the Caribbean, where Mithali Raj was dropped from the semifinal clash.

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