Having equalled the series in Rajkot, New Zealand will now face the heat against Kohli and co. at the Greenfield International Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday. It was an excellent performance by the Kiwis in the second T20I that helped them beat the Men in Blue at Rajkot. With only one T20I remaining, which is also the last match of this tour, Kiwis would like to end it with a bang and ensure a series victory. They did lose the ODI series after putting up a brave fight, but the Black caps would definitely be looking forward to make it 2-1 when it comes to the T20I encounters. Team India has a young talent in the squad and on Indian soil they’re no less than a brutal force. Cricwizz take a look at 5 players to watch out for in the T20I series on Tuesday.
Shreyas Iyer – The youngster is only in his early days in international cricket, hence he’ll be itching to leave a mark in Indian colors. Openers, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma dominated the Kiwi bowlers in the first match with an outstanding partnership as a result of which Iyer didn’t get a chance to bat on his T20I debut. In the second T20I, Shreyas Iyer was given a chance of batting at the number 3 position by the Indian skipper and the young batsman from Mumbai managed to get a start but wasn’t able to capitalize on it. With only one match to go, Shreyas Iyer would be itching to make the most out of this provided opportunity and fire in the series decider on Tuesday.
Hardik Pandya – With two successive low scores and no significant contributions in the first two T20Is of the series, Hardik Pandya would be disappointed with his performances. He’s used to hitting big sixes and strike at crucial intervals with the ball. Hence, after two ordinary performances, Pandya is expected to come up with an all-round show if at all he wants to live upto that tag of the ‘best batting all-rounder’ in the current Indian team. If he gets going, it’s not only difficult but impossible to stop him!
Martin Guptill – He’s one of the batsman who has scored a double ton in ODI cricket and his aggressive batting at the top makes Martin one of the fiercest openers in the shortest format of the game. The Kiwi batsman hasn’t quite lived upto his expectations in the 5 matches played on the tour so far. In the previous T20I encounter, Guptill probably played his best innings on this tour and showed signs of return to form. Colin Munro stole the show with his belligerent century, but Martin’s contribution in that 100-run stand for the opening wicket can’t be taken away from him. With only one T20I remaining, you can expect the opener to play an impressive knock and end the series on a high.
Jasprit Bumrah – This speedster is quite clearly one of the best bowlers in the shortest format at the moment. Someone who has the ability to control his variations to perfection and bowl those toe crushing yorkers in death overs. Bumrah has the ability to choke batsmen and deceive even the best in the business with his slower deliveries. Along with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Bumrah has created a lot of trouble for Kiwi batsmen in these limited-over encounters. In pressure situations and must-win games, Bumrah’s performance goes up a notch better. Hence, when it comes to the Indian bowling attack, skipper Kohli can rely on Bumrah to deliver his best in the final encounter.
MS Dhoni – Many cricket experts think that it’s the right time for MS Dhoni to retire from T20I cricket and give other youngsters an opportunity to feature in the playing XI. In the second match, when Virat Kohli was going all guns blazing from one end, MS Dhoni struggled to get going from the other end as a result of which the Indian skipper played an uncharacterictic innings. The veteran did manage to hit a few big shots towards the end of the innings, but it wasn’t enough as India fell short of the target by a big margin of 40 runs. Indian team has many resources available and if Dhoni doesn’t fire on Tuesday, the keeper-batsman might start doubting his place in the team.
What are your thoughts about the same? Who do you think will be the top 5 performers of the T20I decider? Let us know about your thoughts in the comment section below.