New Zealand vs India: Player battles - Part 2
India is set to begin their tour of New Zealand which consists of 5 ODIs and 3 T20Is, on January 23rd, Wednesday at Mclean Park, Napier. The home side is in good form having thrashed Sri Lanka on home turf and come into this game on the back of terrific batting performances.
The visitors, meanwhile aren't lacking for form themselves having ended a successful, historic tour down under with a 2-1 series win in the ODI format as well. India needs to be wary of Australia's neighbors and this will be a true test of strength and character on foreign soil, one which India desperately need with the World Cup fast approaching.
The game, no doubt will be a cracker of a contest with the two sides settled at the top and with the ball but still trying to find the right combination in the middle. Amidst all the team effort, this game will also be about the individual battles and contests between players.
In Sportskeeda's Player Battles, we bring to you the exciting contests between players that you need to keep your eye on.
#1 Shikhar Dhawan vs Tim Southee
Shikhar Dhawan's tussle with New Zealand's opening bowler Tim Southee will be one to watch out for on match day. Gabbar hasn't been in the best of form but knowing him, he just needs one good innings to get back into the groove and that is exactly why Southee will be crucial in stopping Dhawan's advances.
In the 6 ODIs they have played against each other, Dhawan has always struggled against Southee and hasn't scored many runs off him while being dismissed twice, once in 2014 and another time in 2017.
But a lot has changed since the two sides last met each other in 2017 and Southee should expect a different kind of class from Dhawan than what he got from the Sri Lankan openers. His late swing will be crucial to his success and it'll be interesting to see who will come up trumps in this player battle.