Former New Zealand coach Mike Hesson is looking forward to a particularly intriguing battled between fast bowler Trent Boult and Indian batsman Rohit Sharma next month.
The Black Caps' Boult won't participate in the preceding T20I series against India due to a hand injury, but will likely return to the squad for three ODIs.
‘Boult versus Sharma'
“Trent versus Sharma in ODIs will be a fascinating match-up, if there's a little bit of swing on offer. The New Zealand middle-order against the wrist spinners – Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal – will be the key middle-over match-ups. Hopefully, Boult will be back for the ODI series as he is a key player for NZ in taking new-ball wickets,” Hesson told Cricbuzz.
The full tour will also feature two Tests. Sharma, who was recently named the International Cricket Council's ODI Player of the Year, will likely open the batting in the Test XI as well.
“Sharma just has to play close to the body in the first session and not go hard at the ball. If he does that, he will enjoy the batting conditions in New Zealand,” added Hesson, who was the head coach of the Kings XI Punjab in the Indian Premier League.
Batsman KL Rahul will captain the Kings XI Punjab in the 2020 IPL. He recently played wicketkeeper during India's ODI series against Australia, in the absence of the concussed Rishabh Pant.
“KL is too good a player to not be in every white-ball side. He is a good enough ‘keeper to do the job. My only concern is the toll it will take on his body. If he can stay away from muscle injuries due to overload in a job he doesn't do all the time, then it will be great. Having said that, he keeps regularly for Karnataka,” concluded Hesson.
The Kings XI Punjab have never won the IPL. They have released South African batsman David Miller to the Rajasthan Royals. KXIP shave West Indian big-hitter Chris Gayle, South African fast bowler Hardus Viljoen, New Zealand all-rounder James Neesham and other players from abroad.
The Mumbai Indians, who are captained by Sharma and have Boult, have won the IPL four times.