After registering their first win in New Zealand, India will be eyeing a record 11th consecutive T20I series win when they meet New Zealand for the third T20I at Hamilton on Sunday.
After succumbing to their biggest T20I defeat in the first game, it looked like India’s T20I series win streak will come to an end in the second game itself. A revival was always on the cards for them, but it was more difficult than ever now. They still managed to pull it off to find themselves on the cusp of levelling their neighbouring rivals, Pakistan’s record for most consecutive T20I series win with 11 series. Pakistan have seen that record get broken recently against South Africa and India will be hoping that doesn’t happen to them on Sunday.
New Zealand have been the most inconsistent a cricketing side you’re likely to see. They hit a 200+ score in the first game and in the very next they find themselves reeling at 50-4. Come Sunday and they’d like to put up a good show that can put a smile on their faces in an otherwise unimpressive showing. As their Williamson pointed out, early wickets are the key to them both with bat and ball, the onus will once again be on Munro and Seifert to get them off to a good start. Munro’s hitting prowess are well known to the world already, but when will they hit the Indian bowlers remains unanswered till now. With the series levelled at 1-1, a cracker of a game surely expected, and New Zealand will enter this one much more prepared than ever.
Injuries: There are no injury concerns for the home side but they have left out Lockie Ferguson for the final game.
Doubt: Blair Tickner comes in to the side and might get a go tomorrow.
Questionable: Daryl Mitchell has failed twice now which does leave his spot in the playing11 under a bit of scrutiny.
Expected Changes: Blair Tickner in for Lockie Ferguson while Doug Bracewell might come back in for Daryl Mitchell.
Injuries: A couple of players do look a little jaded but the entire squad is 100% fit for the final game.
Doubt: Vijay Shankar’s minimal use as a bowling option has left a spot open for Kedar Jadhav
Questionable: Dinesh Karthik’s on and off form may just make them go for Shubman Gill.
Expected Changes: Ideally, no changes are expected.
Kane Williamson (C), Tim Seifert (WK), Colin Munro, Ross Taylor, Colin de Grandhomme, Doug Bracewell/Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Scott Kuggeleijn, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Blair Tickner
Rohit Sharma (C), MS Dhoni (WK), Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Vijay Shankar, Dinesh Karthik/Shubman Gill, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Khaleel Ahmed
The final T20I may not see many changes from either side which gives us a chance to pick freely. Colin de Grandhomme’s counter attacking display with the bat is one reason why he is New Zealand’s top all-rounder. Pant has failed so far and picking him ahead of Dhawan might be questioned by quite a few here, but we expect him to get some reasons keeping in mind the conditions at Hamilton. Krunal Pandya has been in some disciplined form to say the least and he should be a definite pick in almost every fantasy team.