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India look to keep T20 Series alive in Auckland today

Although the limited-overs series was built up as a battle of the world heavyweights, New Zealand appeared slightly amateurish against a clinical Indian side for most parts.

The platform for New Zealand’s victory in the T20I opener was set up by Tim Seifert, who having scored only 42 runs in seven international 20-over games until then, sent the Indian bowlers on a leather hunt with his 43-ball 84, which included six sixes and seven fours.

With only a day’s break between the first two games, India have a very short time to prepare for a turnaround and keep the series alive.

Not opting for both James Neesham and Doug Bracewell for the first game, New Zealand went in with Daryl Mitchell and Colin de Grandhomme as the all-round choices.

However, both failed to make any substantial contribution with the bat which might force the management to look at Neesham and Bracewell for the second game.

The visitors had six bowling options in the first T20I but they used only five, not opting for Vijay Shankar with the ball.

The Tamil Nadu all-rounder, however, came up with a promising knock with the bat and could be persisted with for the second match.

Meanwhile, both Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant failed with the bat, Hardik Pandya was a let-down with both bat and ball, while Khaleel Ahmed and Bhuvnenshwar Kumar had expensive figures.

Should they look at reinforcements, India have plenty of replacement options in Mohammed Siraj, Shubman Gill, Siddarth Kaul, Kedar Jadhav and Kuldeep Yadav, who all warmed the bench during the first game.

New Zealand are the only team against whom India have more losses than wins in T20Is. They have won only two of the nine matches played against the Blackcaps.

Will it be an Indian comeback in Auckland or New Zealand riding on the wave of momentum? Only time will tell.

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