The T20I series opener between New Zealand and India at Sky Stadium, Wellington has been washed out due to persistent rain on Friday, without a ball being bowled and the toss was not even held.
As per the weather forecast for Wellington, there was 90-100 per cent rain forecasted during the match time, which led to covers remaining on the pitch all the time. Though rain stopped for a few minutes, it came back again, heavier than it was, leading to players indulging in a session of football-volleyball indoors.
The latest cut-off time for the match to begin was 9:46pm local time, with a minimum of five overs per side needed to constitute an official T20I match. But heavy rain washed out that prospect as well, leading to Friday’s match being abandoned.
India and New Zealand will now move towards the second match of the series, set to be played at a sold-out Bay Oval at Mount Maunganui on Sunday. After this, the third and final match of the series will be played at McLean Park in Napier on Tuesday, followed by a three-match ODI series.
Both India and New Zealand, the losing semi-finalists from the Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia, are on the road to rebuild for the T20 World Cup 2024 as well as fine-tune their preparations for the 2023 ODI World Cup through this white-ball tour running from November 18-30.
With stand-in head coach VVS Laxman insisting that the Hardik Pandya-led side, without many regular stars, will be looking to play fearless and flexible cricket during the series. While regular captain Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul are missing from the tour along with Dinesh Karthik, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel and Mohammed Shami in T20Is, New Zealand are also without Trent Boult and Martin Guptill in the series.
India: Hardik Pandya (captain), Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (vice-captain and wicket-keeper), Sanju Samson, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umran Malik.
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (captain), Finn Allen, Devon Conway, Daryl Mitchell, Glenn Phillips, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Michael Bracewell, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Adam Milne, Lockie Ferguson and Blair Tickner.