5 young stars to watch out for in the IND vs NZ T20I series

England & India Net Sessions
Ishan Kishan (R) will have a lot of eyes on him this series

Team India and New Zealand will look to put behind their T20 World Cup 2022 disappointment when they meet in the upcoming T20I series. The two teams will clash in three T20Is, beginning with the first match in Wellington on Friday, November 18. The second game will be played on November 20 in Mount Maunganui and the third in Napier on November 22.

The Men in Blue and the Kiwis have met each other 20 times so far in T20Is, with both teams emerging triumphant in nine games each. Two matches have been tied. However, Team India went on to win the Super over in both instances. The tied games took place during India’s previous tour of New Zealand in 2020. India enjoyed tremendous success in T20Is during that visit, clinching the five-match series 5-0.

The upcoming series, however, is expected to be closely fought, with promising cricketers from both sides looking to make a mark. On that note, let’s look at five young stars to watch out for in the IND vs NZ T20I series

#1 Shubman Gill

With Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul being rested for the tour, Shubman Gill gets another opportunity to shine in Men in Blue colors. The elegant 23-year-old batter has played 11 Tests and 12 ODIs, but is yet to make his T20I debut. The three-match series against the Kiwis should give him the opportunity to do so.

Incidentally, Gill made his white ball debut for India during the tour of New Zealand in 2019. It was not an auspicious beginning as he was dismissed for 9 and 7 in the two ODIs that he played. However, the right-handed batter will head into the upcoming T20I series with much more confidence.

Gill had a terrific tour of West Indies and Zimbabwe and ended up winning the Player of the Series both times. He registered scores of 64, 43 and 98* in the one-dayers against the Caribbean side and followed it up with 82*, 33 and 130 versus Zimbabwe. He had a decent series against South Africa as well at home and will be keen to carry on the good work. Ravi Shastri recently said, “The young Shubhman Gill is already a Star on the horizon especially when he gets going with his wide range of strokes and rotation of the strike in T20I cricket.”

#2 Glenn Phillips

Glenn Phillips in action for New Zealand
Glenn Phillips in action for New Zealand

After going through a phase where he couldn’t quite produce substantial scores on a consistent basis, Glenn Phillips seems to be coming into his own. He had a terrific T20 World Cup 2022, smashing 201 in five matches at an average of 40.20 and a strike rate of 158.27.

While his performance in the ICC tournament was impressive, it wasn’t surprising for he has always been highly rated in New Zealand. An explosive hitter, somewhat in the Suryakumar Yadav mold, Phillips can play some outrageous strokes when in form. The 25-year-old already has two hundreds to his credit in the T20I format.

Not just as a batter, Phillips is also capable of making a game-changing impact as a fielder as well. He is one of most athletic movers on the cricket field and has pulled off some stunning catches in his 54-match T20I career. The Kiwis will be banking on him to deliver in both departments.

#3 Ishan Kishan

Keeper-batter Ishan Kishan has not been able to find a permanent place in the Indian T20I squad because of the lack of vacancy. However, as the Men in Blue look to rebuild their team keeping future challenges in mind, Kishan could be a vital element.

Having made a memorable T20I debut against England in March last year on a back of his IPL exploits, Kishan has played 19 matches and has scored 543 runs at a strike rate of 131.15. He was the leading run-scorer with 206 runs at a strike rate of 150.36 when South Africa visited India for a match-five T20I series in June.

Following a couple of failures during the subsequent tour of Ireland and England, he was dropped for the Asia Cup and did not find a place in the T20 World Cup squad as well. As such, Kishan would be hungry to prove a point in New Zealand.

#4 Umran Malik

Umran Malik's pace could be a stand out feature vs New Zealand
Umran Malik's pace could be a stand out feature vs New Zealand

After an impressive IPL 2022 season for Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH), in which he claimed 22 wickets in 14 matches, tearaway fast bowler Umran Malik was pitchforked into international cricket. Many critics felt it was a premature decision as the 22-year-old had only played a handful of domestic games.

Malik’s inexperience came to the fore as he struggled against Ireland and England. In three T20Is, he claimed two wickets at an average of 56 and a high economy rate of 12.44. He was subsequently dropped from the team. However, the 22-year-old Jammu and Kashmir pacer could get another opportunity to impress in the T20Is against New Zealand.

Kiwi skipper Kane Williamson, who led SRH earlier this season, lavished praise on the speedster in a pre-series interaction. Speaking about Malik, he commented:

“Umran is a super exciting talent. Spending time with him last year at the IPL and see his raw pace was a real asset to the team. To see him in the international scene now has been an amazing rise for him. And I think when you’ve got that ability to bowl 150 mark as a fast bowler, it’s very exciting.”

Surely, the fast bowler will be keen to live up to expectations of the former captain of his IPL franchise.

#5 Finn Allen

A destructive top-order batter, Finn Allen had a mixed run in the T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia. Kicking off proceedings with a scintillating 42 off 16 against the hosts and defending champions, he couldn’t do much in the remaining games.

It is no secret that Allen is among the most promising batters on the New Zealand T20 circuit. You need exceptional talent to keep a veteran like Martin Guptill out of the team. In 23 T20Is so far, the right-hander has smashed 564 runs at a strike rate of 165.39.

Consistency might not be his forte, considering he believes in the philosophy of taking on the bowling from the word go. However, when it is his day, he can make a mockery of opposition plans. At a media interaction organized by Prime Video ahead of the India-New Zealand T20Is, Williamson praised Allen and said:

"He certainly goes out with the intention of playing very aggressively and playing his game, has a lot of conviction in how he wants to go about it.”

The 23-year-old batter definitely has the backing of his skipper. Now, can he live up to all the hype around him?

Watch the India tour of New Zealand live and exclusive on Prime Video from Nov 18- Nov 30. The T20Is on 18th, 20th and 22nd November begin 11am, and ODIs on 25th, 27th and 30th November begin 6 am

Get India vs New Zealand Live Cricket Score for 3rd T20I at Sportskeeda. Follow us for latest News.

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Edited by Prasen Moudgal
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