After sweeping the ODI series, New Zealand head into the first of two Twenty20 internationals at Mclean Park, Napier in high spirits and aiming to overwhelm Zimbabwe like they have all series.
The key to New Zealand's batting would be their top-order batsmen, especially the openers Rob Nicol and Martin Guptill. Moreover, with Brendon McCullum and Jacob Oram in the line-up, the signs are ominous for Zimbabwe.On the bowling front, the Kiwis have a decent pace attack comprising Kyle Mills, Doug Bracewell and Tim Southee. But it is on the spinners that the home team will rely on to put brakes on the scoring rate.
Coach John Wright has also indicated that the team may test allrounder Andrew Ellis, who replaced the injured Dean Brownlie in the New Zealand Twenty20 squad. Ellis is known for his big-hitting talent and would like to cash in any opportunity given to him.
Zimbabwe need to redeem their campaign in New Zealand by at least registering a win in the Twenty20 matches. Going by the vulnerability of the format, Zimbabwe can give the hosts a run for their money. For them, skipper Brendan Taylor and Tatenda Taibu hold the key.
New Zealand: 1 Brendon McCullum (capt), 2 Doug Bracewell, 3 Andrew Ellis, 4 Martin Guptill, 5 Nathan McCullum, 6 Rob Nicol, 7 Tim Southee, 8 Michael Bates, 9 James Franklin, 10 Kyle Mills, 11 Jacob Oram
Zimbabwe: 1 Regis Chakabva, 2 Hamilton Masakadza, 3 Brendan Taylor (capt), 4 Tatenda Taibu, 5 Forster Mutizwa (wk), 6 Malcolm Waller, 7 Elton Chigumbura, 8 Prosper Utseya, 9 Ray Price, 10 Kyle Jarvis, 11 Brian Vitori.