New Zealand vs India on February 6

Steve Waugh,Virat Kohli,Kane Williamson

After praising the formidable top-order lineup in his column for ESPNCricinfo, Aakash has backed Ambati Rayudu for the No.4 spot saying that his gritty 90 in the fifth ODI against New Zealand in Wellington assured his ticket to England.

If India manage to resist their temptation of playing a left-arm pacer, Kaul should take the new ball alongside Bhuvneshwar Kumar at Wellington. Looking at the form of both the teams in T20Is, India are coming on the back of drawing a series against Australia and if it was not for rain in the 3rd T20I, India would have won the series. Kedar Jadhav (up eight places to 35th) is another one to advance for India in the list led by their captain Virat Kohli. Young wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant, who was not part of the ODIs, returns hungrier and sees this as a big opportunity to stake a claim for a World Cup spot in the upcoming three T20s.

Hardik Pandya showed why he is considered a unsafe player when he smashed a match winning knock of 22 balls 45 runs. Having said that, this series is most likely to give him three such chances to prove his mettle in the given format. The likes of Shubman Gill, Krunal Pandya and Vijay Shankar will be hoping to make a mark if a chance comes their way. The spin department will consist of chinaman Kuldeep Yadav and Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal.

The left-handed opener was woefully off-colour in the ODI series and would have been dropped if not for the injury blow to his partner Martin Guptill. The batting will revolve around Colin Munro, Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor, while the all-rounders Colin de Grandhomme and James Neesham will provide the finishing touches.

India vs New Zealand 1 T20I will be played at Wellington from 12:30 PM IST.

Martin Guptill was on Monday ruled out of the New Zealand side for the Twenty20 global series against India after failing to recover from a back injury.

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