India will look to maintain their winning streak when they take on New Zealand in their first T20I in Ranchi on Friday.
The Men in Blue are off to a good start in 2023 after a mixed end to the previous year that saw them bow out of the T20 World Cup with a humiliating loss in the semi-final and lose yet another ODI series in Bangladesh before recovering with a 2-0 sweep against the Shakib Al Hasan-led Tigers.
Under Hardik Pandya's leadership, they beat Sri Lanka 2-1 to start the year. In the subsequent one-day match against the Lankans, Rohit Sharma took over as captain once again, and his team won all three games by thrashing Dasun Shanaka's team by 317 runs.
Similar results were achieved by India against New Zealand under Rohit's direction; after escaping danger in Hyderabad, they won convincingly in Raipur and Indore to extend their ODI winning streak to seven.
In the three Twenty20 Internationals against New Zealand, which are India's final home white-ball matches before the Border Gavaskar Trophy, Pandya takes back the captaincy responsibilities. The Men in Blue start the series in Ranchi as the clear favorites because of how they have been playing recently.
In Ranchi, the Black Caps delivered an all-around performance to go up 1-0 in the three-match series and open their account on the India tour. Late in the New Zealand innings, Daryl Mitchell's fireworks helped them get close to the 180-run threshold, shifting the momentum in their favor and giving them the psychological edge to start the Indian chase.
The Indian top order was then severely damaged by the New Zealand spinners, who reduced them to 15/3. With a solid partnership in the middle overs, skipper Hardik Pandya and his replacement Suryakumar Yadav attempted to mount a comeback, but India required one of them to remain at the crease until the very end of the chase. In an otherwise disappointing day in office, Washington Sundar's cameo was a huge plus for the hosts.