India look to begin Rohit-Dravid era by taming New Zealand at home
- India play New Zealand in the first T20I on Wednesday
- Virat Kohli and Kane Williamson have been rested from the tour
- The match will mark the beginning of the Rohit-Dravid era
India, with a new captain-coach combo, will face a Kane Williamson-less New Zealand in the first T20I at the Sawai Mansingh Stadium, Jaipur on Wednesday. The game comes weeks after the Kiwis thrashed the Men in Blue, a result that damaged their chances to go ahead in the tournament.
Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid's entry in the leadership role in the shortest format means the Indian dressing room will go through a radical change. The duo in the next 11 months will underline the 'Men In Blue''s template and philosophy in the s after it became clear that some rejigging will be needed as a part of course correction.
After Hardik Pandya failed in theT20 World Cup and IPL, Venkatesh Iyer has been brought in as his replacement and the three games is likely to give an indication if he can be groomed for the much needed fast bowling all-rounder's slot.
The other IPL performers who have been picked in the squad are Ruturaj Gaikwad, Harshal Patel, Avesh Khan and Yuzvendra Chahal, who makes a comeback after controversially being left out of the World Cup squad. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been given an opportunity to find his A game in this series.
New Zealand head coach Gary Stead spoke about how the challenges his team faces, having to regroup so quickly after a draining event like the World Cup. Skipper Kane Williamson has been given rest for the T20s so that he is fresh for the following Test series. Seasoned pacer Tim Southee will lead the team in his absence.
Squads: India: Rohit Sharma (captain), KL Rahul, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Ishan Kishan, Venkatesh Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, R Ashwin, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Harshal Patel, Mohammad Siraj.
New Zealand: Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Kyle Jamieson, Adam Milne, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee (captain).
Match starts 7 PM IST.