Mumbai: Gearing up for some quality spin test, New Zealand will look to get into the groove when they lock horns with the Board President's XI in a warm-up game as a pre-cursor to their limited overs series against India. The Kiwis led by Kane Williamson had a few practice sessions at the Cricket Club of India, the venue of the warm-up game ahead of their lung opener.
Senior players including Williamson, Ross Taylor and Martin Guptill would like to get some runs under their belt before going into the series. Board President's XI, on the other hand, is a relatively young side captained by Mumbai batsman Shreyas Iyer, who has been in good form for the India A team. Youngsters including Iyer, Karun Nair, keeper-batsman Rishabh Pant, teen sensation Prithvi Shaw will be keen to make a mark and impress the national selectors.
The bowlers will also go in with a similar approach and look to unsettle the Kiwis batters. New Zealand coach Mike Henson will particularly look at his opening pair of Tom Latham and Guptill to give a decent start on a wicket expected to help the batsmen. With the senior pacers not named in Board President's XI squad, the Kiwi batsmen will face Dhawal Kulkarni, Jaydev Unadkat, who relatively have a little experience at the international level.
The visiting batsmen will need to overcome the spin threat which will be posed by in-form Shahbaz Nadeem and rookie leggie Rahul Chhahar. New Zealand skipper Kane Williamson had on Sunday said
that the practice games were important ahead of the ODI series.
"These two (practice) games coming up are important for us in our preparations. We hopefully hit the ground running in the first one-dayer," Williamson had said. With wickets in India generally aiding the spinners, Mitchell Santner will be eager to get as many wickets in the game and be ready for the main battle. The Black Caps will like to get some inputs from players
like Colin Munro, Henry Nicholls, George Worker — all of whom have been in India for some time now, playing against the A side.
In the match, Board President's XI players will surely get an experience of playing an international team but for the Kiwis it will be all about adjusting to the conditions. Meanwhile, it is raining in the maximum city for the past 10 days especially in the evenings. This could affect even the start of play if there is a wet outfield. Additionally, the track is expected to have more juice due to the downpour.
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (Captain), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, George Worker.
Board President's XI: Shreyas Iyer (Captain), Prithvi Shaw, Shivam Chaudhary, Karun Nair, Gurkeerat Mann, Milind Kumar, Rishabh Pant, Shahbaz Nadeem, Deepak Chahar, Dhawal Kulkarni, Jaydev Unadkat, Avesh Khan.
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