New Delhi: The ICC World Twenty20 kicks off in Nagpur on Tuesday, as an in-form India take on a spirited New Zealand in the Super 10 Group 2 clash.
The Indian cricket team looks like a solid unit and the players look confident after the series of victories under their belt this year.
Skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni saw his side enjoy two good warm-up games ahead of the main tournament despite losing a close encounter against South Africa. The home conditions will be a huge factor for Dhoni's men and they will go into the tie as favourites.
The batting has looked phenomenal for India with key players enjoying a good run with the bat. The bowling mix will see a familiar outlook that got success in the three successive series.
Interestingly, India haven't beaten the Kiwis in a T20I and on Tuesday the side will be looking to break the drought. New Zealand aren't the same after Brendon McCullum's retirement, but the Kane Williamson led side have a starry all-round team, who can spring a good result against the hosts.
Some big names in the Kiwi team have played in the Indian Premier League and therefore are aware of the conditions well. New Zealand too have enjoyed recent successes in the shortest format and their application in the sub-continent will be key.
Both sides have benefited a lot from their opening batsmen and the presence of Rohit Sharma and Kane Williamson has paid dividends of late.
The onus on both sides will be depending a lot in their opening batsmen and that's where the impact of Rohit Sharma and Kane Williamson will be handy.
Rohit Sharma (India): The experienced opening batsman has had a dream run with the bat of late and will look to get off to a positive start in the tournament. Sharma made use of his outing against the West Indies in the warm-up game in Kolkata, and against a good New Zealand bowling unit, he will hope to come good. Sharma has focused on to play a long innings and India will need him to grow along as the match progresses to make the difference in the end. Sharma will be well supported by a similar in-form partner in Shikhar Dhawan. Both these players have taken their responsibilities well.
Kane Williamson (New Zealand): The Kiwi skipper is a solid figure upfront for his side and he has gone on to become a key attacking player in the shortest format. Williamson's impact for the Black Caps would be similar like that of India's Virat Kohli for his ability to be consistent and assessing the conditions well. Williamson is a strong player against spin and will be tested against the India spinners. The 63-run knock against England in the warm-up tie would have acted as a confidence booster for Williamson. Alongside Martin Guptill, he presents a perfect balance atop and their understanding have been the key.