India and New Zealand are all set to lock horns in the first game of the three-match T20I series on Friday (18th November) at the Sky Stadium. It will be the first series for both sides after their semifinals exit from the T20 World Cup 2022. The Kiwis, led by Kane Williamson, have announced a full-strength squad, while India have announced a youthful side led by Hardik Pandya.
It will be a golden opportunity for the youngsters to impress in the absence of the seniors. It will be interesting to see the team management’s approach going into the series and the team combination they play in the first game. In this post, we will take a look at predicting India’s playing XI in the first T20I against New Zealand.
Openers: Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill
Shubman Gill has been in fine form lately and has been scoring runs consistently in ODIs. The Punjab-born batter is likely to grab the opening slot and make his debut in T20Is as well.
In just 12 ODIs, Shubman Gill has amassed 579 runs at an average of 57.9 and a strike rate of 102.66. The right-handed batter likes pace and bounce to the bat and the conditions in New Zealand will suit his batting style.
Ishan Kishan is likely to be the second opener in the first game. The left-handed southpaw has been India’s backup opener in the absence of the seniors. He has played 19 T20Is in his career and has a strike rate of 131.16. Ishan is known for his aggressive batting and will look to grab the opportunity by scoring big runs against the Kiwis.