India have made two changes in the playing XI against New Zealand. Photograph:( AFP )
India have made two changes in the playing XI for the all-important clash against New Zealand in the ongoing T20 World Cup 2021.
Indian captain Virat Kohli lost the toss and was asked to bat first as India locked horns with New Zealand in a must-win Super 12 clash in the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 on Sunday (October 31). India lost their opening game against arch-rivals Pakistan by ten wickets and will be looking to bounce back to winning ways against New Zealand in Dubai on Sunday.
While reports had claimed the Men in Blue are unlikely to make any changes in the playing XI for the New Zealand clash, captain Kohli confirmed two changes for India from their 10-wicket loss against Pakistan. Ishan Kishan will be replacing Suryakumar Yadav while Shardul Thakur has been roped in for Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the eleven.
Kohli confirmed replacing Suryakumar with Ishan was a forced change as the right-hander suffered a back spasm and had to sit out. The Indian skipper also confirmed that Ishan will be opening the batting with KL Rahul while Rohit will bat down the order.
"Two changes. One forced, Surya has a lower back spasm, so Ishan Kishan will replace him and open the batting. Shardul Thakur replaces Bhuvneshwar Kumar," Kohli said at the toss against New Zealand.
There had been many calls for the inclusion of Shardul in the playing XI after the pacer's impressive campaign for IPL 2021 champions Chennai Super Kings (CSK). While many had expected him to replace a struggling Hardik Pandya, Shardul has been brought in for Bhuvneshwar, who has struggled to find his rhythm for a while now.
Shardul can also come in handy with the bat and will increase India's batting depth against New Zealand as he can take the bowlers to the cleaners on his day. India will be hopeful of sparking a turnaround in Dubai on Sunday and will expect a better show from the bowlers, who went wicket-less in their last game against Pakistan.
India have not won a game against New Zealand in the T20 World Cup so far with two defeats in two meetings and will be looking to bring an end to the losing streak in Dubai.
India's playing XI vs New Zealand:
Ishan Kishan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli(c), Rishabh Pant(w), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Varun Chakaravarthy, Jasprit Bumrah