India - New Zealand World T20 Preview: Exciting clash gets Super 10's underway

14-03-16 The qualifying is over now its down to the real thing as India and New Zealand compete in the first match of the main tournament.

India - New Zealand World T20 Preview: Exciting clash gets Super 10's underway

The opening game of the World T20 Super 10 stage sees India and New Zealand come face to face in Group 2 in Nagpur. The game starts at 2:00pm UK time and is sure to be a cracking game between two high quality sides.

India will be hoping to take advantage of being at home for the tournament as they look to continue their fine run of form, which saw them win the Asia Cup, beating Bangladesh in the final a couple of weeks ago. In terms of warm-up games, they beat the West Indies by 45 runs and narrowly lost out to South Africa by just four runs on Saturday.

As for the Kiwi's, they have been placed in a tough-looking group and it will be a real challenge if they are to progress to the semi-finals as they have been paired with Australia, Pakistan and Bangladesh which are all tricky tests. Kane Williamson's men will need to be at their best throughout and it would be ideal if they could start with a win against the hosts. New Zealand come into the opener in mixed form as they lost one and won one of their warm-ups matches prior to the tournament. They beat Sri Lanka by 74 runs last week before falling to defeat against England on Saturday by six wickets in Mumbai.

T20 rankings

As far as the rankings go, India are placed three places above the Kiwi's, who sit in fourth place ahead of both England and Australia. India are well ahead in the rankings and are heavy favourites to lift the trophy next month and it would be somewhat of a shock if they weren't to win, as they have been the best side in this format for quite some time now.

Key players

Rohit Sharma - The Indian opener is vital to his sides chances as he has been in fine form of late. He's really begun to really cement his place in the side, and has been the perfect player to open the batting for the hosts in recent games, playing a key role in the Asia Cup victory.

Whilst the favourites have got many players to watch out for, Sharma has really grown into becoming an international player and if he can keep up his form then there is every chance that his side will go all the way this year. He has also got time on his side as he is only 28 meaning he has got at least another six/seven years at the top level of the game which could be great news for India.

Sharma pictured (photo: icc)
Sharma pictured (photo: icc)

Kane Williamson - The Kiwi's captain will, like Sharma, be so important for his side if they are to do well at this event as he bats at the top of the order and he now skippers the side, which brings added pressure onto the 25-year-old's shoulders as he leads his nation for the first time at a major event. He has  been in great form of his own and if he, alongside others, can really get on a roll then New Zealand could really be a real surprise package of the tournament. Given that Brendon McCullum has now retired internationally, Williamson has got to take the nation forward and lead by example to the younger players.

Team News

For the hosts the only reason there may be a change made to India's Asia Cup-winning XI is if Mohammed Shami has impressed the management enough to squeeze in ahead of Ashish Nehra. This India side has been largely settled for quite a while now which is only a positive as you don't want to keep having to chop and change players as it can disrupt the rhythm of the team.

India World T20 squad:  – Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt.); Ravichandran Ashwin; Jasprit Bumrah; Shikhar Dhawan; Ravindra Jadeja; Virat Kohli; Pawan Negi; Ashish Nehra; Hardik Pandya; Ajinkya Rahane; Suresh Raina; Mohammed Shami; Rohit Sharma; Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh.

New Zealand might need to pick between Mitchell Santner and Nathan McCullum as the lead spinner. The other toss up might be between Mitchell McClenaghan, who has been part of an IPL-winning Mumbai Indians team, and Adam Milne.

Team Director – Ravi Shastri.

New Zealand World T20 squad:  – Kane Williamson (capt.), Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Grant Elliott, Martin Guptill, Adam Milne, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan McCullum, Colin Munro, Henry Nicholls, Luke Ronchi, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee and Ross Taylor.

Coach – Mike Hesson.