Indian batters failed to make their mark in the opening T20I, where they were handed a 21-run loss by New Zealand in Ranchi on Friday, January 27. The caravan now shifts to the Bharat Ratna Shree Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Stadium in Lucknow, where the second T20I will be played on Sunday, January 29.
In all five T20 internationals played at the venue, teams batting first have won all the encounters. It makes it clear that batting first is the key to winning here. The pitch is expected to help the batters in the first innings, but it gets tougher as the match progresses.
While the toss could certainly play a part in the match, batters can gain the upper hand if they apply themselves on the wicket in Lucknow.
On that note, let’s take a look at three possible batters who could have a great outing in the second T20I between India and New Zealand.
#3 Ishan Kishan – India
The second T20I on Sunday might be the last chance for Ishan Kishan to solidify his place in the Indian T20 side.
The left-handed batter, who etched his name in the history books by smashing an ODI double century last month, has been short of runs in T20Is for some time now. In his last 12 T20I innings, Kishan has mustered just 180 runs at a poor average of 15.
However, this also means that the 24-year-old will now be more eager than ever to make his mark and showcase his real potential as an Indian opener.
Kishan could also take confidence from his career-best 56-ball 89 that he smashed the last time India played a T20I in Lucknow.
#2 Devon Conway – New Zealand
It’s not rocket science to understand why Devon Conway will hold the key for New Zealand in the ongoing T20I series.
Without Kane Williamson for the series, Conway is expected to anchor the Kiwi innings and work his way towards a big score. He is an adept player of both pace and spin and proves to be a dangerous commodity once he is set.
Fresh from his valiant century in the third ODI in Indore, the Kiwi southpaw translated his form into the T20Is as well when he notched up his ninth T20I half-century in Ranchi on Friday.
Conway will certainly look to get his dangerous form going and hand his side the ascendency in the second T20I as well.
#1 Suryakumar Yadav – India
As the best T20 batter in the world for some time lately, Suryakumar Yadav’s inclusion at the top of lists like these no longer seems surprising.
He was named the ICC Men’s T20I Cricketer of the Year for his performances in 2022, where he amassed 1,164 runs in 31 T20I matches at an average of 46.5 and at a staggering strike rate of 187.43.
After his wonderful performances, the Mumbai lad was handed the vice-captaincy of the Indian team for the T20I series against Sri Lanka and New Zealand.
Although the 32-year-old didn’t quite stake his claim in the first T20I and endured a soft dismissal after scoring a well-made 47, he would be itching to once again rule the roost come the second T20I.