Date & Time: Wednesday, January 29, 12:30 IST
Venue: Seddon Park, Hamilton, New Zealand
Authoritative India eye first T20I series victory in New Zealand
India extends its dominance over the home side and has a sight on their first series win against New Zealand in their backyard. Both the matches were of contrasting efforts, in the first one India’s batting had the pure upper hand and in the second T20I, it was the bowling that gave India the lead in the series. On the outlook, it seems like India’s batting has somewhere found stability with Rahul performing exceptionally well as wicket-keeper and Shreyas Iyer as a finisher. Now with the return of Bumrah, which player is likely to step up alongside him is a question to be answered.
New Zealand hasn’t been at their best in T20s at home since 2018. In the 5 series they have played in this time frame they have lost three and won two. However, New Zealand has fond memories at Seddon Park against India. In 2019, New Zealand scored 212 runs and won the game even though it was by a small margin.
With both the departments performing exceptionally well, India is expected to go unchanged. As for New Zealand, Blair Tickner has been leaking runs and is expected to be replaced by Scott Kuggeleijn.
New Zealand Probable XI:
Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (c), Colin de Grandhomme, Ross Taylor, Tim Seifert (wk), Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Blair Tickner/Scott Kuggeleijn, Hamish Bennett
India Probable XI:
Rohit Sharma, Lokesh Rahul, Virat Kohli (c), Shreyas Iyer, Shivam Dube, Manish Pandey, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammad Shami, Jasprit Bumrah.
Just like all the stadiums in New Zealand, Seddon Park in Hamilton is also one of the stadiums where batsmen enjoy batting. An average of 177 is scored in the first innings at this venue. Teams batting first have won 5 out of the 9 matches and in all the matches the first innings score has been over 185. The pacers have bagged more wickets but have conceded at an economy of 9.1, whereas the spinners have manged to stop the bleeding runs, they have conceded at an economy of 8.2. The weather is expected to be calm and pleasant with temperatures around 26°C.
What doesn’t entice anyone to keep him away from the fantasy team?! Especially with the kind of form he is carrying, choosing him is just a no-brainer. He’s coming into this game on the back of two consecutive fifties this series. Lokesh Rahul is racking up runs at will. His batting performance in the two matches has gained a lot of points in the fantasy team as well. With a PPM of 77.0, he is one of the best among all the players in this tour and he has appeared in the dream team in both the matches.
Undeniably Shreyas Iyer is using all his opportunities to the fullest in this series. In both the matches he has shown glimpses of a finisher as well as an innings builder, which is a good sign for India. He also has been a part of the dream team in both the matches with a PPM of 72.0.
The left-handed opener in both the games got starts but couldn’t capitalize and convert it to a big one. Munro’s record at Seddon Park is something that would allure anyone to have him in their fantasy team. With a strike rate of 197, he has scored 130 runs in the three innings he has played here and not to forget his match-winning knock against India at this venue in 2019. In both the matches he has been a part of the dream team with a PPM of 57.5.
Jadeja has been one of the most successful bowlers in this series with three wickets at an economy of 6.0 which is excellent for a spinner that too in New Zealand at their small grounds. Jadeja in this series has PPM of 46.5, which is the best among the bowlers from both sides.