India will look to overcome New Zealand in the third T20I at Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday to bag the series which is tied 1-1 at the moment. India won the first T20I by 53 runs but lost the second T20I by 40 runs. The third T20I is a series decider and India will look to continue their winning momentum in limited-overs cricket. New Zealand have been tough customer in this tour and came back strongly in the second T20I to level the series. Cricwizz takes a look at the strengths and weaknesses of the two teams ahead of India vs New Zealand third T20I at Thiruvananthapuram on Tuesday.
Batting superiority: India have the batting powerhouses to take on any bowling attack. It misfired in the second T20I except for a brilliant knock from Indian skipper Virat Kohli. Indian openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma flopped in the last match, but it can be deemed as an off-day for them. The top-order needs to fire in the third T20I for India to win the series. India’s pride will be at stake in this series as they enjoy an invincible record at home.
Fielding: India’s fielding crumbled under pressure in the second T20I and gave New Zealand the liberty to pile on runs and outbat India. India need to play well in all departments of the game to win the series. India need to strengthen their fielding to get on top of New Zealand.
India squad: Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Lokesh Rahul, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, YS Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Siraj
New Zealand strengths:
Top-class batsmen: New Zealand batting came to the party in the third T20I, with Colin Munro cracking a brilliant ton. They have other quality batsmen in Martin Guptill, Kane Williamson, Ross Taylor who are quality players in this format. New Zealand batting is their top strength and can get on top of Indian bowling to win the series.
Spin department: Ish Sodhi and Mitchell Santner have done well so far in tandem. Sodhi has been impressive in the two T20Is, dismissing hard-hitting Hardik Pandya twice in a succession. Santner has been brilliant throughout the tour. Pace bowlers Trent Boult and Tim Southee too have done their job well.
New Zealand squad: Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, Tom Bruce, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor
Prediction: For India, it’s a matter of pride to win the series and come out triumph. But New Zealand have been tough competitors in this tour. India will face a tough challenge when they face New Zealand in the decider on Tuesday. But in crunch games, India have always done well. Hence, our vote goes to Virat Kohli and his men.
Possible winner: India