The New Zealand cricket team defeated India in the first Twenty20 game of the series, gaining a definitive advantage on the betting tables as well. The record-breaking 80-run win in the first of the three-match short-form cricket series in Wellington is helping the hosts gain back their confidence after losing the ODI series.
For the Kiwis, the win means even more psychologically than just putting pressure on the visitors. The team won only twice in their last ten games, which held them back. And an 80-run victory over a strong team like India is a huge victory, even in cricketing context. Interestingly, their awesome performance comes when they are ranked sixth in the world and are playing without Trent Boult and Martin Guptill.
Yet, the team’s performance was spectacular with the 219 runs on board. Tim Seifert led the team’s betting, making 84 runs in just 54 balls and hitting six spectacular sixes. Tim Southee then went and teased the Indians with his bowling claiming three wickets. Ish Sodhi, Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi took two wickets each. The Indian team, considered good chasers, caved in before the Kiwis while they were 80 runs short of the target.
The good news for the Kiwis is that Jimmy Neesham is fit after a hamstring strain and he could switch places with Scott Kuggeleijn. India, on the other hand, is taking the series easy. They have rested skipper Virat Kohli and bowlers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami. KL Rahul is still out for disciplinary reasons.
The visitors seem to be testing their bench strength in foreign soil. However, this makes the team look more scattered as players were seen brushing responsibility off to one another in Wellington, raising questions about their work ethic.
India could be making more changes in the second match, which could lead to an even more disjointed effort. Vijay Shankar will likely replace Shubman Gill while Khaleel Ahmed will be replaced with Mohammad Siraj. Krunal Pandya could sit out to make space for Kuldeep Yadav.
The second match will be held at Eden Park where batting under the lights is tougher. In the last 14 matches, the team batting first won nine matches while two were tied. The next will be a night match, making the conditions even for both teams. Yet statistics favor the teams that played first. Of the five-night only games, 3 were won by the team batting first. To win this match, the teams would prefer to win the toss, bat first and make a ton of runs.