New Zealand and India attempt to put World Cup misery behind them in three-match series

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New Zealand and India will attempt to put the disappointment of failing to win the T20 World Cup behind them when they start a three-match T20i series on Friday.

England hammered India by 10 wickets at the semi-final stage before beating Pakistan at the MCG on Sunday to lift the trophy for a second time.

The Black Caps missed out once again when they lost to Pakistan in the semi-final, having been runners-up to Australia in Dubai last year.

India will be without captain Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul for three matches against New Zealand in the shortest format, as the experienced trio have been given a post-World Cup rest.

Hardik Pandya will skipper the tourists, with VVS Laxman filling in as head coach as Rahul Dravid is also absent.

Laxman wants to see the India players express themselves in a series that gets under way at Westpac Stadium

He said: "It is important to be flexible. I think in T20 cricket, you are required to express yourself and that is when you will be successful. I think T20 cricket has shown us over the years that the more amount of multi-dimensional players you have, the better for the team.

"You have bowlers who can bat, and batters who can bowl, and that is the way forward. That has already been proven in T20 cricket, the more number of bowlers who can bat will add depth to the team and it allows a lot of freedom for the batters to express themselves.

"That is the need for the format and I am sure more and more teams will try to get that into their selection process and identify players who are multi-dimensional players."

New Zealand have won their past four multi-game bilateral T20I series and will attempt to extend that to five for the first time, with India being the last team to beat them in a series with a 3-0 success a year ago.

 

No Boult to strike for Black Caps

Trent Boult was not included in the New Zealand squad after a request to be released from his central contract was accepted in August.

They still possess a strong attack in his absence, with Tim Southee and Lockie Ferguson set to be unleashed and Adam Milne back in the fold along with Blair Tickner

Experienced opener Martin Guptill was overlooked once again, with Finn Allen keeping his spot at the top of the order.

 

India need Pant back to his explosive best

Rishabh Pant only played twice in the World Cup, making three against Zimbabwe before falling for only nine in the crushing semi-final loss at the hands of England.

Dinesh Karthik had been preferred to Pant, but the experienced wicketkeeper-batter is not in the squad to face New Zealand.

Pant is only 30 runs short of becoming 11th player to score 1,000 runs for India in men’s T20Is and India will need him to explode into life.