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1st T20I: Dhoni, Karthik and Pant in playing XI as India opt to bowl against Kiwis

File photo of Indian cricket team. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team Wellington, New Zealand Feb 06, 2019, 12.14 PM (IST)

India's stand-in skipper Rohit Sharma on Wednesday won the toss and opted to bowl in the first T20I against New Zealand at Westpac Stadium, Wellington.

It might be for the first time when India will be playing with three wicketkeeper-batsmen. MS Dhoni, Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant have been inducted in the playing XI for the game. 

India, which recently clinched the ODI series 4-1, will eye T20 series also to end the tour on a historic note.

Speaking after the toss, Rohit said, " We have had a good record chasing. Gives us another opportunity to see how well we can bat second. Looks like a good pitch, as we saw in the game earlier so we are looking to set a target. Like I said on the 5th ODI, we wanted to bat second as there was some moisture on the pitch and challenge our batsmen. We managed to get a win."

"A lot of the guys who have played ODIs have gone back. A few guys like Rishabh and Krunal are back and we need to give them some chances, so it is important to give them a chance as well in the overseas conditions and see how they fare," he added.

Meanwhile, New Zealand have not performed at par in the ODI series and may surprise the visitors today.  

talking about their strategy for today, skipper Kane Williamson said, "We were looking to have a bowl, based on the wicket on the other night. It's important to assess the conditions. Mitchell makes his debut today. Some regular faces, but the two missing out are Bracewell and Neesham. A new squad brings some freshness."

"Every time you get an opportunity to represent your country is a great one this is a great opportunity against a fantastic opposition so we are looking forward to a really good series ahead, " he concluded.

India will play three T20I before ending the New Zealand tour. 

New Zealand Squad
Playing XI:
Colin Munro, Tim Seifert (wk), Kane Williamson (c), Daryl Mitchell, Ross Taylor, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Scott Kuggeleijn, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson BenchJames Neesham, Doug Bracewell 

India Squad 
Playing XI:
Rohit Sharma (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Vijay Shankar, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, K Khaleel Ahmed BenchShubman Gill, Siddarth Kaul, Kedar Jadhav, Kuldeep Yadav