Will New Zealand experiment keeping in mind the T20 world cup next year? 

 

With just over a year to go for the 2020 ICC T20 World Cup, teams have started to consolidate their lineup for the tournament. Like every other team, New Zealand will also be looking for a set of players which will form their core team for the T20 World Cup. All the Twenty20 International matches will be crucial for the Kiwis as the team management will look on the live cricket score and try to find out the players to strengthen their lineup. New Zealand has reached the semi-final of Twenty20 World Cup twice in the past, in the maiden edition and the last edition of the tournament. They will be looking forward to better this record and fulfil their World Cup dream which they have missed in the 50 overs World Cup.

The first chance for New Zealand to check the strength of their T20 lineup will come when England will tour them from October to December 2019. England cricket team are scheduled to tour New Zealand from 27 October 2019 to 3 December. The New Zealand vs England schedule 2019 consist of five Twenty20 Internationals and two Test matches. The T20 series will start on 1 November 2019 at Hagley Oval, Christchurch and conclude on 10 November 2019 at Eden Park N0. 1, Auckland. The Twenty20 World Cup is in Australia and thus this series will prove beneficial for both the teams to test their level of preparedness in somewhat similar conditions to those that they will face in the World Cup.

After this series against England, New Zealand will play host to India, South Africa and Australia. In one of their most substantial international programme outside World Cups, the Black Caps will play 13 Twenty20 International matches at home against the “Big Three”. India will play five T20Is with New Zealand from 24 January 2019 to 2 February 2019. This will be followed by a tour from the Proteas and then by the Kangaroos. The Aussies will play three Twenty20 Internationals from 24 March 2019 to 29 March 2019. New Zealand and Australia are in the Group 1 of Super 12 stage of the 2020 ICC Twenty20 World Cup, thus the three-match series will be helpful for both the teams. 

The last two Twenty20 series played by the Kiwis were against Pakistan and India. The Black Caps struggled against Pakistan and lost every match of the three-match series, including two very close matches. This series exposed some of their weaknesses in the batting as well as their bowling lineup. In the series again India, the Kiwis managed to win two of the three matches and clinched the series. They would be looking to carry forward their winning combination from this series into the future series as well as the World Cup and make only a few changes to plug the holes in their performance. A more or less unchanged side playing together over a long time will provide great stability to the team going to such a big tournament and will help them to get closer to their target of winning it.

 

Nancy Fowler

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