• November


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International cricket returns to New Zealand shores as they host West Indies in the first T20I of the three-match series at Auckland’s Eden Park Stadium on Friday evening.

New Zealand hasn’t played international cricket since before the COVID-19 break when they played the first ODI against Australia in March. They have lost their last seven T20Is – two against England and whitewashed by India earlier in the year. T Southee will lead as K Williamson is being rested for the T20Is, along with T Boult.

D Conway and K Jamieson are likely to make their T20 debut for the Black Caps. G Philipps had a decent outing in Caribbean T20 League and will get an opportunity in absence of Williamson. 

West Indies last played an international game in the three-match Test series against England in July which they lost 2-1. K Pollard will captain the side. They will be aiming to improve on their poor recent record in the T20Is. 

The team is missing players like A Russell and DJ Bravo. Still, the batting order contains several explosive power-hitters like S Hetmyer, N Pooran, and R Powell.

There could be a bit of rustiness in New Zealand’s game while a large number of players in the West Indies team have been playing competitive cricket. In 8 T20s played in New Zealand between the two sides, West Indies have won just one match way back in 2008. In Auckland, they have a 1-2 win-loss record.

With both the teams looking to start the series on a winning note, it is going to be an exciting contest to kickstart the international home season.

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Match Details

  • Match: New Zealand vs. West Indies, 1st T20
  • Venue: Eden Park, Auckland
  • Date & Time: Nov. 27, 2020, at 11.30 AM IST

Probable Playing XI

New Zealand

D Conway, M Guptill, G Phillips, R Taylor, T Seifert (WK), J Neesham, M Santner, T Southee (C), K Jamieson, L Ferguson, I Sodhi

West Indies

A Fletcher, B King, S Hetmyer, N Pooran (WK), R Powell, K Pollard (C), K Paul, F Allen, S Cottrell, K Williams, O Thomas

Weather and Pitch Report

The weather is clear for the opening T20, with the temperature expected to be around 14 degrees in the evening. It will be a bit breezy and cloudy during the game.

Historically Eden Park has always been a good wicket to bat on, with small straight boundaries and a truly bouncy surface. Batsmen get good value for their shots and sometimes mishits also travel the distance. 

The pitch will be a fresh one and will help the pacers early on with the new ball. Speed variations will be key to outsmart and trouble the batsmen here. The captain winning the toss will most likely decide to chase, with a score of 170 being competitive at the venue.

Key Players

  • T Siefert is a busy player and has got all the shots in the book. It’s a great opportunity for him to cement his place, which he wouldn’t want to miss out on. In the last series against India, he scored two fifties in the last two T20s.
  • R Taylor will be the man New Zealand will look up to in the absence of Williamson. He can play the sheet anchor role and can be brutal in the final overs as well. He scored 72 runs in two innings when he played at this venue.
  • K Jamieson had a fantastic debut against India earlier in the year. Also, he is in terrific form in the recent red-ball matches, picking up 20 wickets in the 5 innings in which he bowled.
  • K Pollard has been in terrific form over the last few months in T20 leagues. The West Indies will hope he continues his form in international cricket too.
  • N Pooran is another solid batsman who can decimate the opposition on his own. Even though he wasn’t very consistent in the recently concluded Indian T20 league, he will be one of the players to watch out for.
  • S Cottrell is a good white-ball bowler. He can bowl up front and at the death too. Unfortunately, he got injured midway through the Indian T20 league but is all set to head his team’s pace attack now.

Howzat Dream Team

  • Wicketkeepers: N Pooran, T Siefert
  • Batsmen: R Taylor, D Conway, S Hetmyer
  • All-rounders: K Pollard, M Santner 
  • Bowlers: L Ferguson, K Jamieson, K Paul, S Cottrell
  • Captain: N Pooran/T Siefert
  • Vice Captain: K Jamieson/K Paul
Howzat Dream Team New Zealand vs West Indies

NOTE: The Howzat dream team above is just a suggestion. You can select your own fantasy 11, and play fantasy cricket matches. Also, don’t forget to make any necessary changes to your team once the actual playing 11 is announced by each team (30 minutes before the start of the match) as some players you have selected might not be part of the team suggested.

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