After sweeping the Auckland leg of the T20Is with two contrasting wins, India move to Hamilton for the third T20I on Wednesday against New Zealand.
With the series on the line, expect the hosts to punch back at their best, although they have been second-best all through so far.
The six-wicket win in the first T20I was a tribute to India’s batting prowess, while the seven-wicket victory in the second was a result of their bowling superiority. With most of the team looking settled in their roles, India once again start as favourites.
The Kiwis will be buoyed with the performance of their openers – Martin Guptill (63 runs, SR 161.53) and Colin Munro (85 runs, SR 126.86) have been giving good starts to New Zealand. However, the poor performance of the middle-order has been hampering the hosts.
Not that their bowling has been of any help. Tim Southee leads the charts with three wickets, but the lack of penetration mean the Kiwis are always playing catch-up. With every bowler conceding at least 8.62 runs per over this series, New Zealand have bigger problems on their plate.
For India, it has been a series dominated by two of their next-gen batsmen. KL Rahul (113 runs, SR 146.75) and Shreyas Iyer (102 runs, SR 164.51) have covered over the poor start to the series for their two top batsmen Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli.
It has been a strong bowling series as well, as the Indian pacers outperformed their Kiwi counterparts. With Jasprit Bumrah proving to be as tough to play as ever, India look all set to clinch the series.
Kohli spoke about taking the toss out of the equation and of following the process. With the batsmen doing their job perfectly, India seem to have been ticking all the right boxes. The bowling also seems to have been hitting the right chords. New Zealand will hope that they can get back in the series at a venue that is known for more swing than Auckland.
History & Statistics
- New Zealand have won seven of nine T20Is played at this venue, including one against India.
- The team winning the toss has won just two of 11 T20Is at the venue so far.
- Three of the last four T20Is played at this venue were won by the team batting first.
- India have won eight of their last nine completed T20Is.
- India have won 15 of their last 19 completed overseas T20Is.
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