Auckland: After their emphatic series win over Australia, Virat Kohli-led Team India will lock horns with New Zealand in the first T20I of the five-match series at Eden Park, here on Friday.India's World Cup dreams had shattered at the hands of the Kiwis in the semi-final last July, where they suffered a crushing defeat in Manchester.
With the memory of the loss still alive, there could be no better revenge for Kohli's men than beating the Black Caps in their own backyard.
However, Kohli has already insisted that the team is not thinking about revenge.
"Not really. Even if you want to think of revenge, these guys are so nice that you can't get into that zone. It's all about being competitive on the field. They are one side that has set the right example for teams to carry themselves on the international stage, '' said Virat, on the eve of the match.
''We were actually happy for them, when they qualified for the World Cup finals. When you have lost, you have to look at the larger picture. So, nothing about revenge," he added.
The Indian team, fresh off their victory against Australia, will, however, miss opener Shikhar Dhawan, due to injury.
The likes of Hardik Pandya and Deepak Chahar, who are injured, are also not part of this series. However, the bench strength has been more than happy to fill in for the missing shoes.
The performance in the recent T20Is has also been good for the Indian team, wherein they were able to register series win against Bangladesh, West Indies and Sri Lanka at home.
On the other hand, New Zealand haven't been in the best of form lately, having been whitewashed by Australia in their three-match Test series.
Against India, their task will be tougher, as they will be without the services of stars like Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson, Matt Henry and Jimmy Neesham, who are out with injuries.
Overall, it will provide an opportunity to both the teams to test their bench strengths out, before the T20 World Cup, which begins later this year.The first match of the series will be broadcast LIVE on Star Sports Network from 1130 hrs on Friday. (UNI)