After winning the ODI series 4-1, India will eye to improve their T20I record against New Zealand and win the 3-match T20 series. @AFP

Although there was a reality check of sorts in the fourth ODI of the series, India, led by Rohit Sharma in Virat Kohli’s absence, managed to bounce back in the fifth ODI to complete the 4-1 series sweep against New Zealand in ODIs. Now, the time has come to get going with the three-match Twenty20 series as the venue for the fifth ODI – Westpac Stadium in Wellington – will set the ball rolling as it hosts the first T20I on Wednesday. (ALSO READ: India’s World Cup countdown: Time for Rishabh Pant to make strong case in New Zealand T20s)

While the five-match ODI series in New Zealand and the three-match ODI series in Australia pretty much made it clear that who will board the flight to England for the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup, the T20Is may well be an opportunity for a couple of players, especially for the swashbuckling wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, to stake a claim in the Indian squad for the World Cup. (ALSO READ: India vs New Zealand, 1st T20I: Rishabh Pant, pacers in focus for India)

For New Zealand, Kane Williamson’s return to the T20I side is a big boost. More so, after an injury ruled out Martin Guptill from the T20I series. The hosts have also picked uncapped all-rounder Daryl Mitchell and pacer Blair Tickner to their squad and it will be interesting to see how the two fare. (ALSO READ: Excited to test New Zealand’s bench strength in T20 series against India: Williamson)

While the pace-bowling spearhead Trent Boult is rested, Tim Southee is likely to lead the New Zealand pace bowling attack with Lockie Ferguson and Colin de Grandhomme in tow. Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi will take care of the spin-bowling department.

India, who enjoyed a good run of form in the ODI series barring a Hamilton blip, meanwhile, will be eager to improve their T20I record against the Blackcaps. While India have won twice against New Zealand, they have lost as many as 6 T20Is against the Kiwis.

What: India vs New Zealand, 1st T20I

Where: Westpac Stadium, Wellington

When: February 6 (Wednesday)

Time in IST: 12.30 pm

Where to watch: Star Sports Network (India)

Live streaming: Hotstar

You can also follow the match LIVE on CricketCountry



Probable XI: 1 Rohit Sharma (captain), 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Rishabh Pant, 4 Dinesh Karthik, 5 MS Dhoni (wicketkeeper), 6 Kedar Jadhav, 7 Hardik Pandya, 8 Krunal Pandya, 9 Kuldeep Yadav/Yuzvendra Chahal 10 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 11 Khaleel Ahmed

New Zealand

Probable XI: 1 Colin Munro, 2 Tim Seifert (wicketkeeper), 3 Kane Williamson (captain), 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