Momentum with the Kiwis | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, January 03, 2017 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:00 AM, January 03, 2017

Momentum with the Kiwis

New Zealand begins 2017 high on confidence after whitewashing their opponents Bangladesh 3-0 in the One-Day International series late last month. Their form, coupled with familiarity with conditions, makes them the favourite for the T20I leg of the tour as well.

What will make the series interesting is that both teams are returning to the T20 format for the first time since the ICC World T20 in India in March-April 2016. While Bangladesh had a forgettable tournament and exited in the league stage, New Zealand was impressive despite a semifinal loss to England.

New Zealand received a blow when Martin Guptill was ruled out of the series after sustaining a hamstring injury while running between the wickets in the third ODI in Nelson. Guptill was forced to retire hurt on six, and will take up to four weeks to recover completely.

The hosts, however, have form and firepower in their ranks. Guptill has been replaced by Neil Broom, who made scores of 109 and 97 respectively in the second and third ODIs. Kane Williamson, the captain, struck form in the last game as well, making an unbeaten 95 to help New Zealand seal a chase of 237 along with Broom.

New Zealand also has fresh faces in Tom Bruce and Ben Wheeler, who have got maiden T20I call-ups. Bruce, the batsman, has been selected for New Zealand for the first time while Wheeler, an all-rounder, has already played six ODIs.

On the bowling front, Tim Southee has been rested for the entire series while Trent Boult will take a break for the first game. Corey Anderson, making a comeback from injury, will continue to play as a specialist batsman, given his dodgy back. 

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