India look to clinch first-ever T20 series in New Zealand (Preview)
Hamilton, Feb 9: The Indian team, led by Rohit Sharma, will be aiming to become the first side to win a T20 International series in New Zealand when the two sides clash in the final match here on Sunday.
It has been a season of records for the Men in Blue who won its first Test and bilateral ODI series in Australia followed by the biggest one-day series win in New Zealand.
The T20 series is now locked at 1-1 with the hosts winning the first one convincingly and India returning the favour in style in the last game.
India had a nightmare in the same venue during the fourth ODI where they were skittled out for 92 in the wake of some quality swing bowling from Trent Boult.
India are expected to remain unchanged from the first two games.
In the first T20, Kiwis’ Tim Seifert gave the Indian bowlers a hard time but they came back strongly in the second tie.
Krunal Pandya has once again punched above his weight with some gritty performances in the two games.
Khaleel Ahmed also took wickets and would look to fire again on Sunday. Skipper Rohit led with the bat in the game and became the world’s top run-getter in T20 Internationals.
India’s middle-order has also shown solidity with the experience of M.S. Dhoni and the exuberance of Rishabh Pant combining well as was evident in Auckland.
For the hosts, they would look to draw inspiration from their first game and bat better.
Skipper Kane Williamson has endured a lean patch by his standards and veteran Ross Taylor has also blown hot and cold during the last three weeks.
India: Rohit Sharma(c), Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Kedar Jadhav, M.S. Dhoni, Krunal Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siddarth Kaul, Khaleel Ahmed, Shubman Gill, Vijay Shankar, Hardik Pandya, Mohammad Siraj.
New Zealand: Kane Williamson(c), Doug Bracewell, Colin de Grandhomme, Lockie Ferguson, Scott Kuggeleijn, Colin Munro, Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Blair Tickner, James Neesham.
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