second day of the ICC World T20, 2009 will see three games being played
- the only such day - and the first of these will be between New Zealand
and Scotland. The first game of the tournament had set the tournament alight
with a shock win for Netherlands over the English, and this should keep the Kiwis
on their toes against a team which had stretched England in their warm-up tie.
New Zealand would be a confident side after their win over India in the friendlies,
especially since some of their players have had the necessary practice for this
shortest format during the IPL. The captaincy load is off Brendon McCullum's
back and this means that he can concentrate on his batting at the top of the
order, whereas Ross Taylor will be looking to continue bat in the way
he had towards the end of the tournament for the Royal Challengers Bangalore.
The surprise package may just be Jesse Ryder, someone who has battled poor
form, injury and now, a demise of a very close relative to hold his place in
the side at the top of the order. If he does fire at the top, it could just
be a carnage against a relatively weaker bowling attack; reduced considerably
by the walking out of medium-pace bowler John Blain.
What the Kiwis could miss is a bowling attack that can fire all cylinders through
the course of the twenty overs. Apart from Daniel Vettori, the likes
of Iain O'Brien and Ian Butler will need to hit the straps as quickly as possible
or run the risk of what England found; albeit a little too late. Daniel Vettori
should continue to bowl economically if not pick up a lot of wickets and he
could be one bone in the Scotts' flesh.
Scotland, on their part, would be hoping for a Dutch encore, though, their
in-fighting will definitely have some effect on their performance. Especially
against a team, which looks to have covered all their bases on paper. Scotland
captain Gavin Hamilton has the necessary experience to lead the team, after
having also played for England in the earlier portion of his career,
but the big question on everyone's lips would be whether they have the right
kind of talent to upset the Kiwis.
Wicket-keeper Colin Smith has had a good couple of warm-up games, and
will definitely bat in the higher middle-order, while the rest of them - Fraser
Watts and Kyle Coetzer - have all had their own hits in the games. The Scotts
would hope for all of them to come good in the game.
Despite the Dutch win, it is difficult to assume that the Kiwis can be surprised;
it is so heavily favoured by the balance of the New Zealand team.