2016 ICC World Twenty20 Group 2: Spin the key for India against New Zealand
Simon Sinclair | March 14, 2016
India v New Zealand
- ICC World Twenty20, Match 13
- Tuesday, March 15th
- Play starts: 14:00 GMT
- Nagpur, Maharashtra
- Live on Sky Sports 2
Hosts India kick off campaign
The Super 10 stage of the ICC World Twenty20 kicks off as host nation India take on New Zealand in their Group 2 showdown.
Both teams will be desperate to make a strong start to the tournament following weeks of preparation with four crucial fixtures ahead of them.
Coral backs MS Dhoni’s men as the odds-on favourites to claim victory in Nagpur at 1/2, while the Black Caps come in at 8/5 to give the hosts an early setback.
All eyes look to Kohli
Virat Kohli stole the show for India in the last Twenty20 World Cup by finishing as the highest run scorer at the tournament, despite his side’s failure to lift the trophy.
The 27-year-old notched 319 runs in just six innings to continue his rise on the international scene and he will be determined to make a similar impression on home soil.
Kohli will have to bear the weight of expectations from India’s supporters, but he heads into the tournament in excellent form after scoring four fifties in his last eight T20 innings, including an unbeaten knock of 90 against Australia.
As a result, he is the joint-favourite to top score for Dhoni’s men against the Black Caps at 11/4, which is an extremely enticing option.
Raina to add power to middle order
Suresh Raina has been a solid option for India in limited overs cricket for the past 10 years, accumulating over 250 appearances.
The 29-year-old’s knowledge of conditions and experience on the big stage will come in great use for the host nation throughout the course of the tournament.
He boasts a strike rate in the 130s in the international game and the IPL, so he could be well worth a shout to lead the way in Nagpur at odds of 11/2.
Spin the key for Dhoni’s men
India carry an ace up their sleeve against their rivals in the form of outstanding off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin.
The 28-year-old has become a deadly option for Dhoni in the shortest format of the game following his success in the Test match arena.
Ashwin comes into the tournament in good form just weeks removed from his best T20 figures of 4-8 in his side’s victory over Sri Lanka, which has knocked his average down to an impressive 21.56.
As expected, the off-spinner is favoured to lead the wicket column for the hosts in Nagpur with odds of 11/4.
Guptill to fill McCullum void?
The Black Caps lost the services of Brendon McCullum for the tournament as the wicketkeeper chose to end his career following his side’s Test match series against Australia.
There is a huge void to fill in his absence, but one player who will look to rise to the occasion again is Martin Guptill, who proved his credentials in the World Cup last year.
The opener blasted a record score in the 50-over tournament of 237 not out, helping his side reach the final where they were soundly beaten by bitter rivals Australia.
However, Guptill showed he could cope with the big stage and more will be expected of him this time around. The 29-year-old has scored four fifties in his last six T20 innings, and is backed at 5/2 to fire for the Black Caps once again in Nagpur.
Black Caps hopeful of Santner emergence
New Zealand enter the competition with a lack of quality in the spin department, which could be a fatal flaw on the turning Subcontinent pitches.
Daniel Vettori’s retirement last year left a gaping hole in the Black Caps’ attack, leaving them short of control and guile.
Mitchell Santner was called into the team for the tour of England and has impressed during his limited playing time, appearing just five times in international T20 cricket.
The 24-year-old’s lack of experience in the Subcontinent may prevent from making a positive impact for Kane Williamson’s side, although he did have a strong showing against Eoin Morgan’s men in their final warm-up game.
Odds of 4/1 make Santner a tempting ticket to rack up the wickets in his team’s opener.