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T20 Showdown: The Top Five Players to Watch in India vs New Zealand Series

India and New Zealand will play a white-ball series on the former’s home ground beginning January 18. The action will begin with the One-Day Internationals on January 18, followed by the T20Is on January 27. Hardik Pandya will captain India in the shortest format, while Mitchell Santner will captain the Kiwis.

Despite the fact that both sides will be without several important players in the T20I leg, one should anticipate an exciting game. Both India and New Zealand have a plethora of talented T20 players at their disposal, but there are a few cricketers who are certain to draw a lot of attention in the next series.

Here are 5 players who will be on everyone’s radar during the upcoming T20 series between India and New Zealand


Number 1. Arshdeep Singh


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Arshdeep Singh has dominated the international stage since first donning the blue jersey. He has played in 23 T20Is and has 36 wickets at an economy rate of 8.41. The 23-year-old has been India’s go-to guy when it comes to wickets, and he has delivered on the majority of times.

Arshdeep has made the ball speak at the start of the innings and has been flawless towards the tail end, unleashing yorkers at will. In the T20I series against Sri Lanka, he was not at his best. The left-arm bowler struggled with the ball in the second T20I against the Lankan Lions, allowing 37 runs in two overs. During his stay, he also bowled five no-balls.

However, in the last game of the three-match T20I series, Arshdeep picked up three wickets while conceding just 20 runs. In the forthcoming T20I series against New Zealand, he will strive to be consistent and produce match-winning performances with the ball.


Number 2. Washington Sundar


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Washington Sundar has a track record of success on the white-ball tour representing India. He has played 32 T20Is and taken 26 wickets with an economy of 7.33. In terms of batting, the ace all-rounder has 47 runs with a strike rate of 142.42. In one-day internationals, he has 14 wickets in 12 games and scored 212 runs at an 86.88 strike rate.

The 23-year-old was outstanding with the ball in the one-day international series against Bangladesh, taking six wickets in three games at an economy rate of 3.50. In addition, he scored 67 runs in those appearances. However, in the T20I series against Sri Lanka, India chose Axar Patel over Sundar as the spin all-rounder, and the former delivered with both bat and ball, scoring 117 runs and taking three wickets.

Given that Axar will miss the forthcoming T20I series against New Zealand owing to family obligations, Sundar will have a good opportunity to demonstrate his all-round prowess. The Chennai native will be keen to light up the stage and make a good case for himself.


Number 3. Michael Bracewell


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Michael Bracewell made his international debut last year and has since been a reliable performer for New Zealand across all forms. In T20Is, he has taken 17 wickets in 13 matches and scored 90 runs at an incredible strike rate of 183.67. In one-day internationals, he has 14 scalps in 16 games and scored 322 runs at a strike rate of 107.33.

Bracewell has strangled hitters with his precise lines and lengths and supplied his team with key breakthroughs with the ball. With the bat, he has adapted to the circumstances and played crucial knocks at the bottom of the order.

The Wairarapa-born all-rounder has added balance to the side, and he will be crucial to New Zealand’s prospects in the T20I series against the Men in Blue. Bracewell will be playing his first white-ball series on Indian soil, and he will be looking to put his best foot forward.


Number 4. Prithvi Shaw


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Prithvi Shaw is renowned for his daring style of cricket, and his marauding bat has placed top-tier bowling attacks under pressure in the Indian Premier League. The opener has appeared in 63 IPL games, scoring 1588 runs with a strike rate of 147.75.

Shaw has been in fine form recently, illuminating the Indian domestic circuit with his amazing exploits. He scored 332 runs in 10 matches in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2022, with a strike rate of 181.42. Then, in the just finished 2022-23 Ranji Trophy game against Assam, he ran through the opposition and scored a record 379 runs off 383 balls.

Shaw has made a return to the Indian team and will participate in the T20I series against New Zealand, thanks to his eye-popping performances. The 23-year-old hopes to capitalise on the occasion and put on a show with the bat.


Number 5. Glenn Phillips


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Glenn Phillips has been a key member of New Zealand’s white-ball setup. The 26-year-old bats in the middle order and has taken the offensive to the opposition from the start, changing the course of the game in his favour. He has played in 56 Twenty20 Internationals and scored 1361 runs with a strike rate of 148.25.

Phillips was just outstanding in the T20I arena throughout the past calendar year. He appeared in 21 Twenty20 Internationals and scored 716 runs with a strike rate of 156.33. The swashbuckling hitter was New Zealand’s X-factor in the T20 World Cup 2022, helping them reach the semi-finals. At the T20 spectacular, he hammered 201 runs in five matches at an astounding strike rate of 163.86.

The New Zealand batsman kept up his strong form, scoring 63* runs off 42 balls in the last game of the three-match ODI series to help his team win. Given his current form, it would not be surprising if Phillips made the forthcoming T20I series against India his own.