The ongoing T20 series between India and New Zealand is once again down to the wire with the series levelled at 1-1 and with both teams aiming to outplay each other in the field, the contest is bound to be a thrilling one despite weather threatening to play spoilsport in the decider at Thiruvananthapuram. The final T20I between India and Australia having been washed out, the final match against New Zealand might meet with the same fate according to reports of the meteorological department.
The hosts beat New Zealand in the 1st match of the series by 53 runs to take the lead in the series but the visitors had the better of the hosts in the 2nd T20 managing to beat them by 40 runs. India will have to display a better show in both batting and bowling department in order to register a series victory while New Zealand would like to carry their momentum forward to the final match of the series and finish the tour on a high.
The openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan who smashed the opposition bowlers all around the park in the first game, both got out within the first 5 overs of the innings, would be looking to put up a better display in the next match. Shreyas Iyer, who recieved his maiden T20 cap earlier in the series got a start in the last game but failed to capitalize on it to produce a match winning performance.
MS Dhoni’s batting position will also be under spotlight. The former captain’s inability to rotate strike during the past one year has been a cause of concern in recent years. In Dhoni’s innings, 26 runs were from boundaries from 5 deliveries (3×6, 2×4) while he managed only 23 from the remaining 32 deliveries, which was far low judging by the required run rate.
It will be interesting to see if Hardik Pandya, who hasn’t had a great series with either bat or ball is given another chance to prove himself or his place is substituted by another batsmen. India of late have been playing with 5 bowlers and have been found one batsman short and it’ll be interesting to see if that is changed in the upcoming fixture. Axar Patel, the other all rounder in the team might be retained in the team to strengthen India’s batting lower down the order.
Jasprit Bumrah and Bhubaneshwar Kumar who haven’t put a foot wrong in the last game despite going wicketless would be looking to continue their good work in the final encounter against the Kiwis. It remains to see if Mohammad Siraj is given another chance to prove himself after a forgetful debut performance in the 2nd T20I.
In the first match,New Zealand were outplayed in every department of the game and they bounced back in the 2nd game with a clinical performance. The viewers are entitled to a thrilling encounter if the match between India and New Zealand is played without interference of weather.