"You and I probably don't know half the people in this team" - Aakash Chopra on New Zealand's squad for T20Is vs India
Aakash Chopra has highlighted that the New Zealand squad for the T20I series against India has quite a few unknown names.
The Men in Blue will lock horns with the Black Caps in the first game of the three-match series in Ranchi on Friday, January 27. The Kiwis have fielded a new-look squad, with Mitchell Santner as the skipper.
While previewing the first T20I in a video shared on his YouTube channel, Chopra pointed out that the visitors are not as formidable as they were earlier, elaborating:
"The opposition team is very interesting. Firstly, Mitchell Santner is the captain. You and I probably don't know half the people in this team. They are no longer the powerful team they used to be."
The former Indian opener, however, feels Devon Conway could continue his run-scoring form from the final ODI, stating:
"It has become a slightly weaker unit. When you look at the New Zealand outfit, it seems the team does not have the might. Devon Conway scored a hundred in the last match and he might score a hundred here as well."
Conway smashed 138 runs off 100 deliveries in the final ODI of the recently concluded three-match series against India. However, that knock went in vain as Rohit Sharma and Co. registered an emphatic 90-run win to complete a 3-0 whitewash.
"You will expect runs from Glenn Phillips" - Aakash Chopra
While highlighting Finn Allen's issues against left-arm seamers, Aakash Chopra expects Glenn Phillips and Devon Conway to be the mainstays in the visitors' batting. He said:
"You will look towards Finn Allen once again in batting but his problem is that he gets out to left-armers. You will expect runs from Glenn Phillips and you will expect a big knock from Devon Conway."
The renowned commentator acknowledged that New Zealand have decent spin bowlers. However, he added that there are uncertainties surrounding their seam-bowling attack, explaining:
"If they bowl first, Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi's stature grows slightly. Lockie Ferguson will play, but who will play with Lockie Ferguson is anybody's guess because they have a lot of bowlers.
"They have Jacob Duffy - who picked up three wickets in the last match, - Henry Shipley and Blair Tickner. They can play anyone."
Chopra concluded by picking India as the 80-20 favorites if they win the toss and opt to chase. He reckons the scale will tilt to 55-45 in Hardik Pandya and Co.'s favor even if they lose the toss.
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