India will take on New Zealand in the three-match T20I series opener at Westpac Stadium, Wellington after the high of a dominant 4-1 ODI series win.

For New Zealand, they will seek to overcome the disappointment of the ODI series even as they look to fill in spots for the ICC 2019 Cricket World Cup later this year.

India’s T20I outfit bears a different look with regular skipper Virat Kohli, pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami rested. In comes Rishabh Pant, Siddarth Kaul, Khaleel Ahmed and MS Dhoni, who was rested for the T20I series in Australia.

As per CricketCountry contributor Chetan Narula, it seems certain that Pant will bat at No.3, ahead of Gill, which makes for an interesting choice in the middle-order. Will India rest Dhoni who, 1) has been in terrific form, 2) has been drafted in for this T20I series after resting the previous one or will Dinesh Karthik will be the unlucky one to miss out.

Narula had earlier reported that Gill will bat at No.4. That puts Dhoni at No.5 followed by either Kedar Jadhav or Karthik or even Krunal Pandya. Hardik will occupy the No.7 spot followed by two wrist spinners and two pacers, or one wrist spinners and three pacers in Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel and Kaul

Predicted Playing XI: 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Rishabh Pant, 4 Shubman Gill, 5 MS Dhoni (wk), 6 Kedar Jadhav, 7 Hardik Pandya, 8 Bhuvneshwar Kumar 9 Kuldeep Yadav/Krunal Pandya, 10 Yuzvendra Chahal, 11 Khaleel Ahmed/Siddarth Kaul

For New Zealand, they have as many as seven allrounders in their T20 squad but without Martin Guptill, NZ have a big problem to solve at the top of the order. Colin Munro has not been in the thick of runs, but Guptill’s injury hands him another opportunity to show his worth for the World Cup.

With Tom Latham and Henry Nicholls rested, wicketkeeper batsman Tim Siefert could open.

Colin de Grandhomme is back meaning Jimmy Neesham, Guptill’s replacement miss out if the hosts hand debut to another allrounder in Daryl Mitchell. Mitchell Santner will be the lead spinner with Ish Sodhi possibly getting a game as the second spinner. If not, the bowling attack lead by a returning Tim Southee will have the assistance of Lockie Ferguson, Doug Bracewell and possibly Scott Kuggeleijn, who made his debut against Sri Lanka in the one-off T20I.

Predicted playing XI: 1 Colin Munro, 2 Tim Seifert (wk), 3 Kane Williamson (capt), 4 Ross Taylor, 5 Daryl Mitchell, 6 Colin de Grandhomme, 7 Doug Bracewell, 8 Mitchell Santner, 9 Ish Sodhi, 10 Tim Southee, 11 Lockie Ferguson