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March 22, 2023


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India vs New Zealand, 1st T20I: Will Rain Play Spoilsport?

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India and New Zealand will be squaring off in the 1st T20I of the three-match series on Friday in Wellington. The series will be played just five days after the T20 World Cup came to an end and it would be Hardik Pandya who would be leading Team India in the T20I series. The likes of Umran Malik, Sanju Samson, Ishan Kishan and Kuldeep Yadav have been named in the squad and it would be interesting to see on who gets a go in the series opener. However, rain might play spoilsport in the 1st T20I as there is a forecast for some showers.

As per AccuWeather, there is a 81 per cent of chance at 7 PM Wellington Time (11:30 AM IST). The match is slated to start at 12 PM IST. The chance of rain gets significantly reduced as the day progresses, but there is still 49 per cent chance of rain.

It would be interesting to see if both the teams change their plans with rain on the radar.

After a disappointing finish in the 2022 T20 World Cup, where India lost to England in the semi-finals, the management has rested senior players like Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli among others.

The likes of Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer, Umran Malik, among others have been given chance. Another youngster, who has been picked in the squad is Shubman Gill. It remains to be seen whether he makes his T20I debut in this series.

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With India set to take on New Zealand in a three-match T20I series, veteran pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar is on the cusp of achieving a huge record in the shortest format of the game.

If he takes four wickets against New Zealand in the series, Bhuvneshwar will become the bowler with the most wickets in a calendar year. So far in 2022, he has bagged 36 wickets in 30 matches. Ireland’s Joshua Brian Little holds the record for taking the most wickets in a calendar year.

Little, who had an impressive T20 World Cup campaign, has bagged 39 wickets in 2022.

During the T20 World Cup, Bhuvneshwar became India’s all-time leading wicket-taker in the shortest format.

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