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Pack your side with batsmen at high-scoring Eden Park

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New Zealand v India, 2nd T20I, Auckland

Our XI: KL Rahul (wk), Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Colin Munro, Shreyas Iyer, Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Kane Williamson, Mitchell Santner, Ravindra Jadeja*, Yuzvendra Chahal

NOTE: We might not always be able to tip you off about a late injury (or other relevant) updates.

Captain: KL Rahul

Rahul has been in red-hot form in limited-overs cricket for a while now, and it continued in the first T20I as he raced to a 27-ball 56. No reason to look anywhere else yet, irrespective of whether India bat first or second.

Vice-captain: Virat Kohli

Kohli was also among the runs in his first-ever T20I on the New Zealand soil, although it was a rare chase when he didn’t see the side home. Kohli still averages 52.57 in T20Is, and if India chase once again, you could consider slotting him in as captain too.

Hot picks

Kane Williamson

Williamson found his hitting range, moved up a few gears and made full use of the angles and short boundaries at Eden Park during his 26-ball 51 in the first game. It was only his second fifty at the ground from ten innings, but he looks in solid hitting form on his return to the national side.

Yuzvendra Chahal

Outside of Jasprit Bumrah, Chahal (along with Shivam Dube) had the best economy rate among all the bowlers who bowled in the first T20I. As much as the run-saving, he brings proven wicket-taking ability to your side, and is always a chance at a ground where batsmen are going hell for leather from the get-go. The only specialist bowler in our line-up.

Colin Munro

Munro relishes playing in New Zealand, where his numbers are world-class: an average of 35.30 and a strike rate of 172.75. True to form, he smashed a brisk fifty at the top of the order. Another potential vice-captain option, especially if New Zealand bat first. Munro is also tagged as an “allrounder” on fantasy platforms thanks to his part-time bowling abilities, so he could help fill another hole too.

Value picks

Ross Taylor

Taylor hasn’t exactly been a T20I run-scoring beast, partly due to where he bats in the order, and made his first T20I half-century in six years on Friday. Not surprisingly, he comes on the cheap on fantasy platforms. Taylor is a vital cog in New Zealand’s middle order along with Williamson, and with short legside boundaries, you can always back him to smoke a few into the upper tiers.

Shreyas Iyer

The star of India’s win in the first T20I, Iyer defied a mini-slump in form that saw him get out early through the latter half of India’s home season. His timely big hits ensured India chased down 204 with a full over to spare. Form is everything in T20 cricket, and at the same ground where he won his first Player-of-the-Match award for India two days ago, you should continue to back him.

Points to note

  • India are likely to sweat over Jasprit Bumrah’s fitness after he injured his ankle during his final over in the first T20I. Watch out for team news and pick him in your XI (we would replace Ravindra Jadeja with him) if he is selected in the playing XI.

  • Eden Park has produced high-scoring duels in T20Is over the years, and Monday was no different. Therefore, our XI includes as many as ten men who can bat (nine if Bumrah comes in). If you decide to go with an additional New Zealand player, we’d recommend Ish Sodhi.



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Hardik Pandya ‘very keen to bowl but we have to listen to his body’

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Mumbai Indians are keen to get some overs out of their key allrounder Hardik Pandya but are taking a cautious approach with him after his back surgery last year. Zaheer Khan, Mumbai’s director of cricket operations, said on Sunday that Pandya is “very keen and really wanting to bowl,” but they also have to “listen to his body”.

Pandya has not bowled so far in Mumbai’s two games – against the Chennai Super Kings and the Kolkata Knight Riders – and Khan didn’t specify when exactly the allrounder could be expected to bowl next.

“We’re all expecting him to bowl and he’s someone who really changes the balance of any side when he’s bowling and understands that but we have to listen to his body and that’s a conversation we’ve been having in consultation with the physios,” Khan said while answering questions from the press.

“We’re looking forward for him to bowl, he’s very keen and really wanting to bowl. We just have to wait and be patient and listen to his body. At the end of the day, any bowler’s injury plays a huge role. We’re happy he’s there as a batter and with full fitness contribution, so that’s the exciting part. Hopefully you’ll see him bowl soon.”

Pandya underwent a back surgery in October last year in the UK after his lower back had been troubling him since the Test series in England in 2018. The surgery kept Pandya out of action for almost a year, last playing a T20I against South Africa at home in September 2019. After that he missed the Tests against the same opposition, the home series against Bangladesh and West Indies, a T20I series against Sri Lanka and ODIs against Australia at home, and the entire tour of New Zealand earlier this year.

Pandya was a crucial player for Mumbai last IPL with both bat and ball: his strike rate of 191.42 for the 402 runs he scored in 15 innings and the 14 wickets he took in 42.3 overs helped his team lift a record fourth title. He plays the role of a key fifth or sixth bowler – interchangeably with his brother Krunal Pandya – which Mumbai used in the form of Kieron Pollard in their last game, against the Knight Riders earlier this week. It was a rare sight because Pollard last bowled in the IPL more than three years ago, in April 2017. Against the Super Kings in the first game, Mumbai used their regulation five bowlers while defending 162 and lost by five wickets.

Speaking of Pandya’s bowling, Mumbai coach Mahela Jayawardene told host broadcaster Star Sports during the game against the Knight Riders that they would “gradually build him up”.

“[It’s a] day-by-day progress, we don’t want to take a risk,” Jayawardene said on September 23. “He came back from operation. He looks healthy now so we’ll gradually build him up. We’ll see when he’s comfortable and then take a call.”



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RR vs KXIP, IPL 2020, 9th game

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Welcome to ESPNcricinfo’s Rolling Report of the ninth IPL 2020 match, between Rajasthan Royals and Kings XI Punjab. Which means we’ll be seeing the likes of Steven Smith, Jofra Archer, KL Rahul and Glenn Maxwell locking horns. Who will come out on top?

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Dettol become naming-rights sponsor of Australia men’s ODIs and T20Is

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In a sponsorship deal fitting for the times, Dettol has become the naming-rights partner for the Australia men’s ODI and T20I series as part of a four-year deal.

They replace Gillette, the previous title sponsors for men’s limited-overs matches, in a deal that also will see them be the naming partner of the men’s support staff – previously Bupa – and also have an association with the women’s team.

The brand contacted Cricket Australia after hearing of its plans to trial disinfectant on cricket balls following the onset of Covid-19 earlier this year. The use of saliva has been banned and while sweat is still permitted at international level the Australia team faced stricter protocols on the recent tour of England which limited where they could use it from.

In the current women’s series between Australia and New Zealand, which is being watched by a limited number of spectators, if the ball gets into the crowd it needs to be sanitised by the umpires before play resumes.

As part of the new deal the company will also supply its product to nearly 3,500 cricket clubs around Australia as the game resumes for the summer amid a range of new health and safety protocols.

“Dettol is such a well-known and trusted brand with a long heritage, both here in Australia and around the world, and their support will give confidence about protecting the return of community and elite cricket this summer,” the Cricket Australia CEO, Nick Hockley, said.

“Beyond this summer, we look forward to working with Dettol to help embed hygienic behavioural change into schools, clubs and communities through cricket.”

Dave Rankine, Regional director for RB Health ANZ, owner of the Dettol brand, said: “We’re excited to bring the expertise of Dettol to Cricket Australia, partnering together to protect the sport so many Australian’s love, from watching our national teams play, to participating in games ourselves through community clubs. Our partnership with Cricket Australia will help to embed important hygiene habits into the lives all Australians as we enter the new normal.”

Following the postponement of New Zealand’s short limited-overs tour to Australia that was scheduled for late January, due to the issues around mandatory quarantine, the only men’s limited-overs series this season will be three ODIs and three T20Is against India.

It remains to be confirmed how India’s tour is finally structured, but the trip is expected to begin with some white-ball cricket before the Test series begins in mid-December.

Earlier this month Vodafone signed on as the naming partner for men’s Test cricket.



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