New Zealand skipper Mitchell Santner won the toss and elected to bat first against India as the tourists look to clinch the series in the second Twenty20 international in Lucknow on Sunday.
The Black Caps, who suffered a 3-0 whitewash in the one-day matches, were unchanged from their convincing win in the opener.
Santner at the toss said, “The stats say that it’s challenging to chase here. We’ll try to get some runs on the board and see what it does. We had a tough one-day series, it was nice to bounce back with a win. Different guys stepping up at different times is always nice. It’s never easy to beat India at home.”
He added: “That partnership between Surya and Hardik put them right back in the game. The key is to take wickets through the middle, that’s the best way to slow them down. You got to take that (bigger ground dimensions) into account.”
India made one change in their bid to keep the three-match series alive. Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal came in for tearaway quick Umran Malik.
Skipper Hardik Pandya admitted the hosts would also have batted first had he won the toss.
He said, “We were also thinking to bat first but bowling is also fine. This is a new team, but we have spoken about getting into the challenge and having to do difficult things. It can’t difficult than this in a bilateral series, losing the first game and then two games on the line. Looking forward to this game.”
He added, “We are going to make mistakes and learn from them. It’s important they come out here and enjoy the sport. We all should remember that we started playing this sport to enjoy, so I just want to pass that message to the team. It might turn. That’s the reason we have made one change. Umran misses out, Yuzi comes in. The KulCha is back, a lot of people wanted to see, they are wicket-takers. The way Washi is playing, we’ve got three proper spinners who can squeeze if required.”
India: Ishan Kishan (wk), Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya (capt), Deepak Hooda, Washington Sundar, Shivam Mavi, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh
New Zealand: Finn Allen, Devon Conway (wk), Mark Chapman, Daryl Mitchell, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner (capt), Michael Bracewell, Jacob Duffy, Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson, Blair Tickner
Umpires: KN Ananthapadmanabhan (IND), Nitin Menon (IND)
TV Umpire: Jayaraman Madanagopal (IND)
Match Referee: Javagal Srinath (IND)
With inputs from AFP