India v New Zealand, 2nd T20, Chennai September 10, 2012

Weather a worry in deciding India-New Zealand T20

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Match facts

September 11, 2012
Start time 1900 local (1330 GMT)

Big Picture

A phrase that has found its way into cricket jargon of late is "controlling the controllables". One thing neither team, the fans or the organisers have been able to control is the rain. It has been an unwelcome visitor is all three matches on the tour so far, more so in Visakhapatnam, where thousands made their way to witness the city's first Twenty20 international and Yuvraj Singh's comeback from cancer. Southern India has been hit by showers over the last few weeks, and the venue for the final T20, Chennai, has had its share of rain too. The weather has reduced the Twenty20 series to a one-match shoot-out. Both teams will agree that even a completed T20, without interruptions, won't count as sufficient match practice ahead of the World T20. Much then would depend on the two warm-up games in Sri Lanka before the big event.

One player who will be itching to get out there is Yuvraj. Ideally, he would like to stage his comeback in India and, possibly, put an end to all murmurs regarding his match fitness. Spare a thought for the Twenty20 specialists who have flown in from New Zealand for what is effectively a one-match series. Daniel Vettori, for all his experience, needs match time to ease himself back in from a groin injury. New Zealand would want to play their best side, but that would mean their relatively inexperienced players, like Ronnie Hira and Adam Milne, may not be guaranteed a spot. India have tried out three different opening combinations in their last three T20 matches, with Ajinkya Rahane and Robin Uthappa partnering Gautam Gambhir in two of those games. They are expected to go with their regular pair of Gambhir and Virender Sehwag here, and both are struggling for consistency.

Form guide (Completed matches, most recent first)

New Zealand LLLLW
India WLWLL

Watch out for

He may have slipped slightly as a wicket-taker in Tests, but Daniel Vettori has plenty to offer in T20s as a containing bowler, as his economy rate of 5.36 in 28 T20s indicates. With Jacob Oram, who kept batsmen quiet in the SLPL with an economy rate of 3.82, Vettori will be called on to squeeze the runs.

R Ashwin tormented New Zealand with 18 wickets in two Tests, and those who have faced him in the IPL will be aware of his skills in the shortest format. In 23 matches for Chennai Super Kings at the MA Chidambaram Stadium, Ashwin has 27 wickets, the second-highest wicket-taker for the franchise at the ground over three seasons.

Team news

L Balaji showed up for the pre-match press conference, but was non-committal over the team combination or whether he would play.

India (probable): 1 Virender Sehwag, 2 Gautam Gambhir, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Suresh Raina, 5 Yuvraj Singh, 6 Rohit Sharma, 7 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 8 Irfan Pathan, 9 R Ashwin, 10 Zaheer Khan, 11 Ashok Dinda

New Zealand did not drop any hints regarding their playing XI either.

New Zealand (probable): 1 Martin Guptill, 2 Brendon McCullum (wk), 3 Ross Taylor (capt), 4 Kane Williamson, 5 Rob Nicol, 6 Jacob Oram, 7 Daniel Vettori, 8 James Franklin, 9 Doug Bracewell, 10 Tim Southee, 11 Kyle Mills

Pitch and conditions

There have been showers in Chennai late in the evenings. India managed to practice, but it reportedly rained after 4pm on the eve of the game. The forecast is for cloudy weather on match day.

Stats and trivia

  • The MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai will be hosting its first Twenty20 international.
  • Chennai had its share of high-scoring games during the 2012 IPL, with a season run-rate of 8.01. Super Kings' 222 for 5 against Delhi Daredevils in Chennai was the highest team score for the tournament.
  • In the 2012 IPL, spinners accounted for 33 wickets in Chennai, second only behind Eden Gardens (34).

    Quotes

    "We're quite strong in the spin department, as well, in the current T20 setup. If you look at the experience we have got and the destructiveness we have with bat and ball, it [the shorter format of the game] does suit us."
    Brendon McCullum says New Zealand have the skills to perform better in T20s

    "The long lay-off did not rust my skills in any way. It has been a competitive three years in the IPL and Ranji Trophy, as well as some other first-class matches."
    L Balaji says he is ready to make a comeback to international cricket

    Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on September 11, 2012, 17:07 GMT

    Lolz INDIAN`s They never won even Single T20 ever against Newzealand ..... Hahahahaha!

  • dummy4fb on September 11, 2012, 16:54 GMT

    Dhoni has just Lost us the Match !!!! What was Dhoni doing can someone answer me Plz. I am struggling to find a reason for his slow batting !!!!

  • kumar692 on September 11, 2012, 13:39 GMT

    I don't see any point in playing 7 pure batsman in a T20 match. If you see India's past records in T20, they have won more matches playing with 5 genuine bowlers eg. 1st T20 world which they won. After that its been huge disappointment in T20 world cup's. You have irfan pathan at no.7 who is more than capable in batting and hitting big sixes.....Please somebody tell this to Mr.Dhoni....

  • true494 on September 11, 2012, 13:32 GMT

    @krishheturi why don't we give more chances to other wicket-keepers(Backup for Dhoni), we have lot of talented WC. Dinesh karthick is better than Dhoni in test matches. How many test matches saved by Dhoni, i think we can findout on fingures. He is also not great in behind stumps in test matches. As a captain also he is having worst record. See his stats outside india. If you consider talent/class Badrinath is 100 times better than Dhoni.

  • dummy4fb on September 11, 2012, 13:28 GMT

    Agree with "andrew27994". RG is a special talent. Of the current crop of the Indian batters, none plays the short ball as easy looking as Rohit. He is one of the most elegant right handers batsman. No wonder why Sachine and others have shown their faith in him. He just needs few good innings to gain his confidence and he will be a regular in all three forms of the game.

  • V.Jammy on September 11, 2012, 13:25 GMT

    How come Rohit Sharma get so many chances instead of much better batsman like Rahane??

  • dummy4fb on September 11, 2012, 13:15 GMT

    I think Irfan Pathan should open with Gambhir, this way he can utilize the powerplays without posing any threat to the loss of wicket

  • Joby_George on September 11, 2012, 13:05 GMT

    add one more say...Ind had never beaten NZ in a T20 match

  • dummy4fb on September 11, 2012, 12:57 GMT

    Let us ready to watch out,what's rohit gonna do......i'm eagerly waiting.....As a fan of him,i hav to support him.......cheer him up guys...!!!!

  • dummy4fb on September 11, 2012, 12:46 GMT

    No rain in chennai. hope Today v can see yuvi Batting after a long struggle :)

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