VVS Laxman (left) with captain Hardik Pandya
India’s stand-in coach VVS Laxman (left) with captain Hardik Pandya ahead of the T20 cricket international between India and New Zealand, in Wellington, New Zealand, on November 18, 2022. The match was abandoned due to persistent rain. Image Credit: AP

Wellington: The T20I series opener between New Zealand and India at Sky Stadium, Wellington, has been abandoned due to persistent rain on Friday, without a ball being bowled and the toss was not even held.

There was 90-100 per cent rain forecast during the match, so covers remained on the pitch. Though rain stopped for a few minutes, it returned and it poured heavily.

The latest cut-off time for the match to begin was 9:46pm local time, with a minimum of five overs per side needed to constitute an official T20I match. But heavy rain washed out that prospect as well, leading to Friday’s match being abandoned.

The second match of the series will be played at a sold-out Bay Oval at Mount Maunganui on Sunday. The third and final match will be at McLean Park in Napier on Tuesday, followed by a three-match ODI series.

Both India and New Zealand, the losing semi-finalists from the Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia, are rebuilding for the T20 World Cup 2024 as well as fine-tune their preparations for the 2023 ODI World Cup through this white-ball tour running from Nov. 18-30.

Stand-in head coach VVS Laxman insisted that the Hardik Pandya-led side will be looking to play fearless and flexible cricket during the series. Regular captain Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul are missing from the tour along with Dinesh Karthik, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel and Mohammed Shami in T20Is. New Zealand are without Trent Boult and Martin Guptill in the series.


India: Hardik Pandya (captain), Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan, Deepak Hooda, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (vice-captain and wicketkeeper), Sanju Samson, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umran Malik.

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (captain), Finn Allen, Devon Conway, Daryl Mitchell, Glenn Phillips, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Michael Bracewell, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Adam Milne, Lockie Ferguson and Blair Tickner.