In the last six men’s T20 internationals between them, India have won five matches while New Zealand won one – the one that mattered the most, perhaps. Back in early 2020 when India defeated New Zealand 5-0 in their own backyard, a World Cup was few months away and things looked rosy in Virat Kohli’s camp. It was a series that witnessed some thrillers, with two matches on the trot needing Super Overs and India’s clean sweep heralded fresh hope that they might have finally cracked the T20I code.

A pandemic and a postponed World Cup later, as the two teams met in UAE recently, New Zealand inflicted the latest heartbreak for India in their quest to reclaim an ICC trophy. That defeat in Dubai proved to be a decisive blow for India’s quest to reach semifinals, while the Black Caps completed an all-format hat-trick.

Throw in the World Test Championship and the 2019 World Cup, if anything, the rivalry between these two sides in recent times has been riveting.

And now, while New Zealand have barely had any time to recover from their heartbreak at the hands of Australia in the final on Sunday, India look to begin a new era. Rahul…

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