After a thumping 4-1 win in the ODI series against New Zealand, India's World Cup preparations and permutations and combinations - as stated by skipper Virat Kohli - is in auto-mode; so to find any context to the three-match T20I series against NZ as India conclude their Aus-NZ tour is quite tough. The best batsman in the New Zealand side will want to serve another reminder of his prowess in the shortest format after his stupendous IPL showings for Sunrisers Hyderabad previous year.
India will now play a three-match T20I series against the Kiwis starting from February 6.
New Zealand cricket team will be looking to turn things around after losing the ODI series 4-1. There aren't too many global matches left before the World Cup in June; apart from the three T20Is now, India have only two more T20Is and five ODIs against Australia at home.
In his column for the Times of India, Laxman wrote, "Even though the series was already in the bag, it was pleasing to see Rohit Sharma challenge his batting unit and himself by opting to bat in testing conditions in the final ODI at Wellington".
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (capt), Doug Bracewell, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Scott Kuggeleijn, Colin Munro, Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Blair Tickner, James Neesham. From 12 matches as India captain in the shortest format of the game, Rohit has won 11 of them. New Zealand, meanwhile, have three ODIs and three Tests against Bangladesh to figure out their ideal combination for the World Cup. "New Zealand will be disappointed at their response to what was no more than a par score under the circumstances".
Martin Guptill has been ruled out of the T20 series due to injury. "He's a great asset for our team and I'm sure that he will grab this opportunity with both hands", Dhawan was quoted as saying prior to the first T20I encounter at the Westpac Stadium.
It wouldn't be wrong to say that India will include the three-match series as part of their curriculum for ICC Cricket World Cup 2019's preparations.