NZ vs IND, 3rd T20I Preview

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NZ vs IND, 3rd T20I Preview

09 Feb 2019 007 Views Yash Mittal

The Big Picture

17 games. 10 wins. 3 Trophies including a legacy-defining Test series win Down Under. It's been a wonderful time to follow Indian cricket for fans who have long wished for their side to do well on an overseas sojourn.

The past three months have been surreal for Team India, one, which has seen them scale the erstwhile unchartered territories. Sunday's T20I offers yet another chance to Rohit Sharma and his side to add yet another 'First' to their legacy- 1st T20I series win on New Zealand soil.

Wednesday's encounter yet again testified the cliche- Take wickets and ride the momentum in your favor. Which is what the difference was between India's record-loss at Wellington and the comprehensive victory at the Eden Park in Auckland. The same set of bowlers who were mauled in the first game applied the breaks by chipping in with wickets at regular interval to ensure India were chasing a modest target of 159. India's decision to not play Kuldeep Yadav in the do-or-die fixture raised a lot of eyebrows but Krunal Pandya once again displayed why he is one of the most cricketer going around in the shortest format of the game. 

The all-rounder- 3-28- broke the back of the Kiwi top-order which included the all-important wicket of Kane Williamson and the dangerous looking Colin Munro and backed up by Khaleel Ahmed's pristine death bowling, were essentially the difference between India chasing a score in excess of 200 compared to what they eventually chased. 

India will also be relieved with the return of form for skipper Rohit Sharma after a lean patch in the past four games. Sharma, during his half-century, broke a plethora of records- none bigger than moving past Martin Guptill's tally of most runs in T20I cricket. It was an important game for Rishabh Pant too. With limited opportunities left to present his case for the World Cup squad, Pant did no harm to his chances as he steered his side home in the presence of MS Dhoni and remained unbeaten in the end with 40 not out next to his name, and will hope for an encore as the 5-match ODI series against Australia looms on the horizon.

The Kiwis, on the other hand, were never really in the game once they lost the cream of their batting off Krunal Pandya. That they got to a respectable total was largely due to whirlwind innings by Colin de Grandhomme [50] abely backed up by Ross Taylor's 36-ball 42. But once the duo perished their lower-middle order could not bail them out. The failure of Scot Kuggleijn [2 & 0-32 (3.5)] might pave way for a return for James Neesham.

It will be a big game for Colin Munro and Tim Southee. The duo has not been able to make the most of their chances in the absence of Guptill and Trent Boult after having being dropped from the ODI set-up, and the third T20I offers a chance to redeem themselves by putting in a series-winning performance for their side.

But, the hosts' know that they will have to do an encore of their performance at Wellington to win the series against a side who is yet to lose a 3-match rubber in their T20I history

 

Match Details

Venue:- Seddon Park, Hamilton

Match Timings:- Sunday, February 10, 2019, 12:30 PM IST



Recent Form-

New Zealand- LWWLL

India- WLWWW

 

Pitch Conditions

India does not have happy memories of this ground. Their batting unit was knocked over for 92 in the fourth ODI played at the venue but with the track for the T20I expected to be a flat road, they'll hope for a redemption of sorts.

 

The Number story-

  • Rohit Sharma has stroked 102 sixes in T20I cricket. Only Chris Gayle and Martin Guptill have hit [102] more sixes than the Indian captain.
  • If India wins at Hamilton, it will be their first-ever series win on New Zealand soil.
  • India has never lost a 3-match bilateral T20I series.
  • If India loses at Hamilton, it will be their bilateral T20I series loss following their 0-1 loss in a 2-match rubber against the Windies in Florida, 2016

 

Team News & Playing 11

New Zealand

Blair Tickner, who was selected in the squad for the 3rd T20I might come into the picture while Scott Kuggleijn might make way for James Neesham

Playing 11- Tim Seifert, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor, Daryl Mitchell, Scott KuggleijnJames Neesham, Colin de Grandhomme, Tim Southee, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson

India

Given India's penchant for experimentation, no permutation or combination can be ruled out. But, they should go with the same playing 11 that won comprehensively in Auckland.

Playing 11- Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, MS Dhoni, Vijay Shankar, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal/Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed

 

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Yash Mittal

Bharat Army Cricket Writer

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