India are set to face New Zealand in a three-match T20I series beginning in Ranchi on Friday. Hardik Pandya, who led a 2-1 series win over Sri Lanka earlier this month, is back leading the T20 side with some regulars and fringe players in the squad.
While skipper Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Mohammed Siraj, and Mohammed Shami are being rested, the likes of Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, and Kuldeep Yadav will get an extended run. Prithvi Shaw has returned back to the team after his brilliant performance in domestic cricket.
Gill has been in the form of his life, especially in the ODIs where he has scored his career-best 208 to go alongside two centuries in the last four innings. Suryakumar also had a quiet ODI series against New Zealand but when it comes to the T20 format the 360-degree batter becomes a dangerous entity.
While the batting looks sorted, it's the bowling department that may demand some attention.
Left-arm pacer Arshdeep Singh, who returned from injury, was in the eye of storm in the series against Sri Lanka. He leaked 37 runs in two overs as India lost the T20I in Pune, their only reverse in the 2-1 series win. He would look to come up with a tidy show.
But there was also a bright spot in the bowling department with Shivam Mavi capping an impressive debut with 4/22. Mavi bowled with pace and the way he cleaned up Pathum Nissanka is still fresh in the mind. The speedster would look to form a potent combination with Umran Malik.
Yuzvendra Chahal has been the preferred option in the format and in the absence of Axar Patel it remains to be seen if the leg-spinner is persisted.
India has been at their marauding best in the ODIs they would expect some fightback by the Kiwis team led by Mitchell Santner in the T20 leg. Left-hander Devon Conway showed his imperious form for the Black Caps scoring 138 from 100 balls as they gave India a run for their money in their defence of 386 in Indore.
Michael Bracewell too was at his consistent best with 188 runs from three matches as they would look to carry their momentum in the T20 leg.
India: Hardik Pandya (Captain), Suryakumar Yadav (vice-captain), Ishan Kishan (wk), Shubman Gill, Prithvi Shaw, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Deepak Hooda, Rahul Tripathi, Jitesh Sharma (wk), Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik, Shivam Mavi, and Mukesh Kumar.
New Zealand: Mitchell Santner (Captain), Finn Allen, Michael Bracewell, Mark Chapman, Devon Conway (wk), Dane Cleaver (wk), Jacob Duffy, Lockie Ferguson, Benjamin Lister, Daryl Mitchell, Glenn Phillips (wk), Michael Rippon, Henry Shipley, Ish Sodhi, and Blair Tickner.