New Zealand vs England – 1st T20I – Match Preview and Predicted XI

After a gruelling Ashes Test series, the focus for the England cricket team will shift towards the shortest format where they take on the Blackcaps away from home from the 1st of November. Keeping the 2020 T20 World Cup in mind, it is a five-match T20I series instead of three. 

England isn’t going with a full-strength team as they have rested some of their T20 stars. Their Test captain, Joe Root isn’t part of the squad whereas Moeen Ali has been dropped. 

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Courtesy: Firstpost

A couple of new names have been added to the squad. The likes of Saqib Mahmood, Matthew Parkinson, and Tom Banton haven’t played a single T20I and would be a great opportunity for them to showcase their skills.

On the other hand, the hosts New Zealand are coming off from a win against Sri Lanka in the sub-continent. It was a well-contested T20I series where NZ’s middle-order clicked in the absence of Kane Williamson. 

The Blackcaps will need a similar sort of display from their middle-order as a hip injury has ruled out their regular skipper. Tim Southee once again will lead New Zealand in the absence of Williamson. 

New Zealand has brought in star all-rounder, James Neesham and seamer Blair Tickner for this series. The workload will be divided between the quicks as Lockie Ferguson will part with the squad for the first three games whereas Trent Boult will not be around for the last couple of matches. 

Both the teams look evenly matched and one thing is for sure that it will be a great contest when the series kicks-off on the 1st of November. No team starts as overwhelming favorites in this series. 

New Zealand wouldn’t look to make a lot of changes from the team that won them the series in Sri Lanka.

New Zealand Playing XI:

Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Tim Siefert (WK), Ross Taylor, Colin De Grandhomme, James Neesham, Daryll Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee (C), Lockie Ferguson, Ish Sodhi

For England, there might be a few debutants for the first T20I.

England Playing XI;

Jonny Bairstow, Tom Banton, James Vince, Dawid Malan, Eoin Morgan (C), Sam Billings (WK), Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Patrick Brown

Cover image credits: Firstpost

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