India Aim For ‘Fresh’ Start In First T20I vs New Zealand

After a disappointing T20 World Cup campaign, India will aim for a fresh start with the help of a “young and fearless” bunch in the three-match T20I series against New Zealand, beginning in Wellington on Friday. After the World Cup debacle in the UAE last year, India did adopt an aggressive batting approach but by the time the next edition came knocking, the top order was found wanting and failed to take the attack to the opposition. India found itself running in circles as the wait for its first ICC trophy in nine years got longer.

With the next T20 global event two years away, India has enough time to identify and groom the players for an attack-at-all-costs to approach displayed by England.

Hardik Pandya, who could lead the team in the next T20 showpiece, will be captaining the side in Rohit Sharma’s absence.

Stand-in head coach VVS Laxman has indicated that the management will be keen to add only T20 specialists to meet the requirement of the modern game. Though the focus has shifted to ODIs ahead of the World Cup next year, India would like to make the most of the T20 games here and the nine more they play before the 50-over mega event.

Though Virat Kohli was in sublime touch Down Under, the lack of “intent” from Rohit and K L Rahul in the powerplay was criticized heavily. There is a strong possibility that all three will not play the shortest format till the 2024 edition, and therefore, India needs to plan for the future.

Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill will be the likely openers for the first game here but the management can also give Rishabh Pant another opportunity at the top of the order

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