Team India is ready to take on the challenge from New Zealand in the three-match T20I series that kicks off on January 27 (Friday). Men in Blue will square off against the Black Caps in the first T20I today at JSCA International Stadium Complex in Ranchi. On the eve of the series opener, India’s T20I captain Hardik Pandya opened up on Prithvi Shaw’s chances of grabbing a spot in the playing XI.
Pandya admitted that the in-form opener Shubman Gill will start the T20I series against New Zealand ahead of Prithvi Shaw, who has made a comeback to the national team after a very long gap. Considering Gill’s sensational and amazing run in ODIs, Hardik said his selection was a no-brainer. The young opener has smashed three centuries including a double ton in his last four innings.
The left-handed batter Ishan Kishan is expected to open alongside Gill. Indian skipper believes that a right and left-hand combination would provide his team a good start at the top. When asked, whether Shaw will play the first T20I, Hardik said no and Shubman has done well and will start the series. He stated that the way Gill is batting, the team cannot miss his service.
Pandya added that he and his men will try to win obviously. India will have to be at their best to beat the Black Caps, who are a very good team in the T20Is. Another Indian opener Ruturaj Gaikwad has been ruled out of the T20I series due to a wrist injury. Shaw might only get a chance if Gill or Ishan is rested for any of the fixtures.