New Zealand are scheduled to face India in the first T20I of a three-match series, in Jaipur, just three days after losing the T20 World Cup final to Australia in Dubai. Remember, they already had a tight schedule in Dubai with three matches being played in a span of five days. New Zealand will then kick off their World Test Championship defence with two games in Kanpur and Mumbai. Gary Stead, the coach of the team, called the schedule “tough and challenging”, but they won’t back down.
The Test players, who are not part of the T20I squad, are already in India. The New Zealand support staff will have to somehow mangage training the Test players in the morning and the T20I group later in the evening while in India.
“It’s the first time that I can remember that we’re so quickly into another series immediately at the back-end of the T20 World Cup,” Stead said. “It’s definitely tough and challenging but it is what is in front of us. We’ve got nine-ten guys in India already, who are preparing for those Test matches, and hopefully we can get up and have a really great performance against India.”
Meanwhile, there is optimism around Lockie Ferguson’s return to action on the India tour. Ferguson had been ruled out from the entire T20 World Cup with a calf tear, hours before New Zealand’s opener against Pakistan in Sharjah. He has since started bowling at the nets in Abu Dhabi and Dubai, in addition to training with Tommy Simsek, the physio.
“In terms of Lockie, I think he is pretty close,” Stead said. “We will just make sure we get over there, travel okay and there’s no issues like seizing up on the flight or anything like that. But I’d expect that he’s going to be available for selection, which will be fantastic.
“With all the guys that are going to prepare for the Test matches, we just have to make that call over there – whether we think it’s in the best interests of them and also in the best interests of the team being that the Test matches are more of our priority, I think, in the next month than what the T20 matches will be.”
Avishkar Govardhane is a Sports Editor and enthusiast, working here at Clout News covering the latest Cricket News.