India and New Zealand will face off in a game that could potentially seal their fate at the T20 World Cup 2021. For New Zealand the good news is unlike match vs Pakistan, pacer Adam Milne is available – but the bad news is Kane Williamson led Kiwis are still undecided who to leave out to include Milne in XI?
To include Milne in XI – New Zealand will have to make a big call. To include Milne, Ish Sodhi or Mitchel Santner will have to be left out of XI. Sodhi is in decent form & to see him being left out against India is little difficult to digest, especially as he’ll have fond memories of playing against them at the last World Cup, five years ago, where he took 3-18 in a memorable, low-scoring win in Nagpur.
Sodhi even took 2-28 from his four overs against Pakistan in the opening match.
Santner meanwhile is a important cog in wheel for New Zealand’s T20 set-up & it will be hard for Williamson to leave him out from XI.
Will New Zealand sacrifice a batsman to include Milne?
It feels more likely that a batsman will make way and Daryl Mitchell or Tim Seifert may have to make way for Milne’s inclusion in XI.
The Canterbury all-rounder Mitchell appears to be in form & is likely to be persisted in XI. Seifert stuck down at No 7 & struggling for runs is likely to be shunted out of XI vs India.
Milne for Seifert?
That would mean Devon Conway has to keep, but that might be what’s needed for the Black Caps to field their strongest possible XI at this stage in proceedings, which would mean sticking with 10 of the players that lost to Pakistan while bringing Milne in for Seifert.
While Adam Milne’s numbers against India and the IPL 2021 were less impressive, he certainly has shown his talent and could very well trouble the Indian batsmen with his pace. The Kiwi fast bowler had bowled a brilliant spell (2/21 in four overs) against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the phase 2 opener but went for runs in the subsequent games to be dropped in favour of Nathan Coulter-Nile. Milne, Neesham and Trent Boult were all teammates at Mumbai Indians, and reuniting the trio could very well add to New Zealand’s expertise with the ball.
Martin Guptill is also a fresh injury concern for the Kiwis, after he was struck on his toe during the game against Pakistan. Head coach Gary Stead said that Guptill “looked in a little bit of discomfort at the end of the game, but it might just take 24 to 48 hours to see how he goes”. The veteran opening batsman is likely to be available for the game against India, and should he miss out, the Kiwis could opt to bring in all-rounder Mark Chapman into the side.
New Zealand and India both need a win in this game, and head coach Gary Stead underlined the importance of the fixture. Stead said a win over India was now “very, very important” and “critical” but noted that he was proud of how the Black Caps had performed against Pakistan despite the result.
NZ Playing XI vs India: Martin Guptill, Daryl Mitchell, Kane Williamson, Decon Conway, Glenn Phillips, Tim Seifert / Adam Milne James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi and Trent Boult.