Thiruvananthapuram: India would look to bounce back to winning ways when they face New Zealand in the series deciding T20I on Tuesday in Thiruvananthapuram.
Perhaps New Zealand has been the most exciting opponents India have faced in their home season so far. In the first match of the ODI series, they stunned Virat Kohli and his team to take a lead and now, they have fought back in emphatic fashion to level the T20I series with one match to be played.
In the last match, it was Colin Munro, who did the job with his bat. Punishing the Indian bowlers, the left-hander powered his way to a magnificent 109 of just 58 balls to help New Zealand pile up 196 runs on the board. In response, Trent Boult rattled the Indian batting with four wickets and despite skipper Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni putting up a brief fight, the Kiwis walked away as the winners and levelled the three-match series 1-1.
Thus Virat Kohli and his men would need to get a few things right in the last game. The openers, who had fired in the first match in Delhi, failed to contribute in the run chase. The bowlers were pummeled for runs all across the ground with debutant Mohammad Siraj being the most expensive of all.
Also, all-rounder Hardik Pandya’s failure with the bat in both the matches have been a cause of concern for the Indian team. In both the T20Is, he fell to leg-spinner Ish Sodhi and hasn’t yet looked the hard-hitter that we all know. If needs to win, then he needs to fire. The performance of the Indian middle order hasn’t been great so far and thus, they would need to step up to put some pressure of the visitors, who would be riding high on momentum as well as on confidence.
India : Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Virat Kohli(c), Hardik Pandya, MS Dhoni(w), Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Dinesh Karthik, Manish Pandey, Lokesh Rahul
New Zealand : Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson(c), Tom Bruce, Glenn Phillips(w), Henry Nicholls, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Adam Milne, Ish Sodhi, Trent Boult, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Tim Southee