Our prediction is that India will seal the series with a win against New Zealand in the final T20 international at Seddon Park.
An easy win by India at Eden Park has nicely set up the T20I series – the last leg of India's two and a half month long Trans-Tasman tour. The three-match series is leveled with one match to go at Hamilton in a Sunday clash.
After a record-breaking defeat in the first match, India came back strongly, as they have all season, to produce a much-improved performance to defeat the hosts with plenty to spare. This was India’s first T20I win on New Zealand soil in 4 attempts. Krunal Pandya with the bowl and Captain Rohit Sharma at the top of the order guided India to victory to level the series leaving it to the third T20I at Seddon Park to decide the fate of the ongoing series.
New Zealand should have seen this coming. They probably did, but you can only do so much when a good team performs to their full potential. An interesting game ahead of us on Sunday!
After a stunning performance in the first T20I, New Zealand would have expected a better show in the second one, especially after winning the toss and batting first on a good batting wicket. As it turned out India had a much better outing and they cleaned the game up with 7 wickets to spare.
Winning the toss batting first Tim Seifert could not provide the impetus at the top of the order as he did in the previous game. As he looked to find his groove India took him out. Few quick wickets to Krunal Pandya had them at 4 for 50 by the 8th over. A quickfire 50 by Colin de Grandhomme upped the scoring rate but they lost the set batsmen just when it was time to go for the kill eventually setting up a below-par target of 159 for India.
Darryl Mitchell had to face a controversial decision for LBW but apart from that, it did not look like India needed any luck to close this game out. India eventually reached the target quite comfortably. After the ODI series loss, New Zealand must be itching to win the T20I series at home on Sunday.
KS Williamson (c), TL Seifert, C Munro, DJ Mitchell, LRPL Taylor, C de Grandhomme, MJ Santner, SC Kuggeleijn, TG Southee, IS Sodhi, LH Ferguson.
Mitchell Santner, Ross Taylor, Daryl Mitchell, Colin Munro, Blair Tickner, Tim Seifert, Colin de Grandhomme, KS Williamson, Ish Sodhi, Scott Kuggeleijn, TG Southee
The trend continues. As we have seen throughout this season, India lose games only to come back stronger and better to produce thoroughly professional performances. That was another clinical performance by India at Eden Park to keep the series alive.
India were up for the task from the word go. Bowling first, they did not allow Siefert and Munro to have a brisk start. The pressure first up helped them get New Zealand 4 down, 3 of them to Krunal Pandya, with not much on the board. When Grandhomme and Taylor looked like taking the game away, Indian bowlers struck to defuse the slog overs charge. Chasing 159, Rohit Sharma practically killed it with a 29 ball 50 that consisted of 4 sixes. When he got out India had already scored half the runs by 9th over. Rishabh Pant and MS Dhoni completed the formalities for India.
A series win here would be a feather in the cap for India in their already successful tour so far. With a strong win to boost their confidence India look set for the last challenge.
Rohit Sharma (c), Shikhar Dhawan, MS Dhoni, Yuzavendra Chahal, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Vijay Shankar, Khalil Ahmed, Krunal Pandya, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant.
Khaleel Ahmed, Vijay Shankar, Dinesh Karthik, Kuldeep Yadav, Rohit Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Krunal Pandya, Rishabh Pant, MS Dhoni, Shikhar Dhawan, Hardik Pandya
New Zealand must have happy memories of Seddon Park at Hamilton. This is the venue where India lost the only ODI of the 5-match ODI series that they won 4-1. There is enough assistance for the bowlers first up at Hamilton which, if exploited properly, can set the game for your team.
Thus, the team winning the Toss should choose to Bowl first here to put the opposition top order under pressure in helping conditions and should look to build the game up from there
A long season is finally coming to an end for India at Seddon Park in Hamilton. The maiden Test series win followed by the maiden bilateral ODI series win against Australia followed by the 4-1 thumping of New Zealand at their home and now a chance to win the T20I series as well which, by the way, will be their first in New Zealand if India are able to pull this off. India have improved throughout this tour, managed their players well, and have been thoroughly competitive despite not always playing their best XI to manage the workload.
Thus, our prediction is that India will end the tour on a high with a win against the hosts to seal the series 2-1 at Seddon Park on Sunday!
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