Virat Kohli-led Team India eyes first T20I series win in New Zealand

Eyeing a series win, India take on New Zealand in the third T20 International at Hamilton’s Hamilton’s Seddon Park on Wednesday (January 29, 2020). A win at Hamilton will give Virat Kohli-led Team India an unassailable 3-0 lead over New Zealand and also give the visitors their first T20I series win in the host country.

New Zealand have not played badly in the first two matches, it is just that the Indian team has been extremely focussed and determined in its approach. In fact, India have won their last five T20Is while New Zealand has lost their last four. But New Zealand have a great record at Seddon Park where they won seven out of nine T20Is. Toss will also be on the top of the mind of Kohli and his counterpart Kane Williamson as the team batting first has won the last four T20 matches at Seddon Park.

Rahul and Shreyas Iyer have come good in the first two matches and with Kohli and Rohit Sharma in the playing XI give India an extremely strong batting line-up. With the T20 World Cup scheduled in Australia in October-November 2020, India are also using the tour to finetune their strategy.

Rishabh Pant is yet to get a chance to show his skills and with Rahul donning the role of a wicketkeeper-batsman with aplomb, the team management is unlikely to tinker with the winning combination in the third T20I.

Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav give India some welcome options in the spin department. The Indian pace attack led by Jasprit Bumrah and ably backed by Mohammed Shami has been a thorn in the flesh of New Zealand batsmen.

Colin de Grandhomme gets his last match of the series and his place will be taken up by batsman Tom Bruce. While the former is an allrounder, but in the first two matches, he was limited to batting only, a role in which he failed miserably with scores of 0 and 3. The host bowlers will be hoping of repeating their performance of the One Day International World Cup 2019 semifinal against India when they had scythed through the famed batting line-up with ease.

A ruthless India crushed New Zealand in the first match in Auckland’s Eden Park by 6 wickets on Friday (January 24, 2020) and followed it up with another clinical performance by registering a seven-wicket win at the same ground two days later.

India have played two T20I series in New Zealand earlier and lost both. The team under Mahendra Singh Dhoni in 2008-09 lost to New Zealand 0-2, and then during the 2019 tour, Kohli-led India once again lost to the host team 1-2.

India T20I squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul (wicketkeeper), Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Navdeep Saini, Washington Sundar

New Zealand T20I squad: Kane Williamson (captain), Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Scott Kuggeleijn, Colin Munro, Colin de Grandhomme, Tom Bruce, Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (wicketkeeper), Hamish Bennett, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Blair Tickner