Ed Hawkins previews the first of three T20 contests and expects a close encounters in Delhi on Wednesday...
"We absolutely respect India’s talent and their recent record. ABut it is child’s play to make a case that the Kiwis are the value: they are the No 1 team in the world"
New Zealand [3.15] (2pts)
India v New Zealand
Wednesday 1 November 13:30
TV: live on Sky Sports
India are enjoying a period of domination. In all formats they have won 16 of their last 19, most recently beating New Zealand 2-1 in the ODI series.
Their success, in limited-overs at least, has been built on the pace pair Bhuv Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah. They are exceptional bowlers, particularly at the death.
Despite their strong sequence, there is no hint that India are taking things easy. They have picked a strong squad with all the big names available - Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Hardik Pandya.
Still, their could be some tinkering with the batting. Lokesh Rahul deserves a game and might usurp Dhawan while Manish Pandey and Shreyas Iyer are battling it out for a middle-order spot.
New Zealand made a good fist of taking on India in their own back yard in the ODI series, winning game one and coming mighty close to an epic chase in the finale. They will hardly consider themselves to be poor relations.
Indeed, they will reckon that they solved one of their longstanding problems by moving Tom Latham down to bolster the middle order while Colin Munro looked okay at the top of the order.
They are a strong T20 outfit and are rated as the best in the world by the ICC. They need some improvement in form from Martin Guptill, however. He had a horrible time in the ODI.
With the ball they have plenty of strength in depth: Matt Henry, Adam Milne, Tim Southee and Trent Boult will be permed into three.
There have been only four T20 internationals played at the Kotla. The scores read: 153-120-171-142. In last year's IPL 163 was the average batting first. It can often be a tricky surface for batsmen but appears to be a fair one for the bat v ball contest. There was no toss bias.
India are [1.45] for this one with New Zealand [3.15]. Rarely do we go bet sub [1.6] on a favourite in this format so we are hardly like to start now on prices like this about the hosts.
We absolutely respect India's talent and their recent record. And, of course, they are the most likely team to win. But it is child's play to make a case that the Kiwis are the value: they are the No 1 team in the world.
They have the potential to score quickly at the top of the order, the middle-order has class and guile with Latham and Ross Taylor while Colin de Grandhomme can go big at the death if necessary.
And they have all bases covered with the ball with spinner Mitchell Santner No 12 in the world.
India have a good balance, too. They can do it all. But that doesn't mean they should be [1.45].Their home advantage in the last two years translates to a [1.62] chance.
Top India runscorer
Kohli is rated as the No batsman in the world in this format. Statistically he cops more than 40 per cent of the time so if you can get anything more than [2.4] about honours on the exchange you have yourself a value wager. Sportsbook go 13/5 ([3.6]). The only other Indian in the top 20 is Rahul. He is 7/2. Rohit, fresh from a ton in the final ODI, is 3/1.
Top New Zealand runscorer
Kane Williamson finally found some form in the ODI series but it wasn't enough for honours. He is No 4 in the world with Munro next best at No 17. Munro may be Williamson's greatest threat here, particularly if he continues to open. Guptill is not pulling up any trees. Williamson is 5/2 with Sportsbook and Munro 7/2.
Ed Hawkins P-L
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running match advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. New points system (0.5pt-5) introduced for 2017. Includes Hawk-Eye stats column p-l