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Preview: New Zealand eyes rare series win in India

By Real11 - Jan 31 2023 284 Views
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IND vs NZ, 3rd T20I: A Cracking Contest on Cards 

India and New Zealand have travelled across different parts of the nation for six games in a span of 14 days and we’re nearing the final chapter, with the T20I series evenly poised at 1-1. It's time for one more push, and please remember to keep those tray tables upright and locked.

Winning a series in India is a herculean task for a visiting side. India has made a fortress at home and managed to be ridiculously consistent over the years. In the last 10 years, they have played a total of 55 bilateral series, across formats, and won 47 of them. Besides Australia (2019) and South Africa (2015), no other team has beaten India in India. 

The Big Picture : Mitchell Santner and Hardik Pandya impress 

Mitchell Santner emphasised this point in the press conferences; that apart from the learnings Kiwis can analyse and read the conditions they will face during the ODI World Series in October, there is still a chance to write their name in the history books and become one of the few teams to beat Indian at home. 

Both skippers have actually been big positives for their sides. Santner has already shown composure under pressure that he set out to have, and he seems to be an unusually good thinker of the game. He even asked Lockie Ferguson to bowl off spin in the 2nd T20I to make the most of a rank turner in Lucknow. 

Hardik Pandya, meanwhile, has looked in firm control leading a young Indian side. He has been a candid and unhinged presence even in front of the camera. Guy publicly said he wouldn’t have minded losing to Pakistan in the blockbuster T20 clash because it was an epic World Cup clash. He is well admired in the team, throws his entire weight behind his players, gives his all and has no fear of failure.  The minutiae of this series may fade from memory, but the two captains' names may go down in history.

 

Form Guide

IND: W L W L W 

NZ: L W T L L 

 

Players in Focus - Kishan and Sodhi 

It is safe to say that Ishan Kishan is going through a lean patch right now. Ever since he scored a double century against Bangladesh in Chattogram, runs have come hard to come by for the exciting southpaw. He scored 210 in December and in the next eight innings has scored less than half that. This India team is adamant about giving its incumbents a lengthy leash. Kishan also serves as their wicketkeeper and provides a hard-hitting left-hand alternative at the top of the order. These are advantages that everyone seeks in today's game. So his spot is certainly safe, but wouldn't he enjoy a game-changing inning in a series decider...  

In the New Zealand bowling prowess that stresses on discipline and works towards trimming  the margin of error, Ish Sodi is a twist of fate. He is the kind of a spinner who gets frustrated by even the idea of threading six balls on the same spot, which is likely why he finds himself out of the Test setup. But what goes against him in whites is what defines him in white ball cricket. He has been the second highest wicket taker in T20Is over the past two years. 

Team News: Malik in place of Chahal?

Ahmedabad may not be able to replicate the same playing conditions as Lucknow. So, India may be tempted to bring back Umran Malik in place of Yuzvendra Chahal. 

India (probable): 1 Shubman Gill, 2 Ishan Kishan (wk), 3 Rahul Tripathi, 4 Suryakumar Yadav, 5 Hardik Pandya (capt), 6 Deepak Hooda, 7 Washington Sundar, 8 Shivam Mavi, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Umran Malik, 11 Arshdeep Singh

NZ will unlikely make any changes to their playing XI unless any player sustains an injury

New Zealand (probable): 1 Finn Allen, 2 Devon Conway (wk), 3 Mark Chapman, 4 Glenn Phillips, 5 Daryl Mitchell, 6 Michael Bracewell, 7 Mitchell Santner (capt), 8 Ish Sodhi, 9 Lockie Ferguson, 10 Jacob Duffy, 11 Blair Tickner

 

Pitch and Conditions

The Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad has traditionally been a high scoring venue for T20Is, with three of its last five matches producing totals in excess of 160. 

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