Courtesy of another Super Over win, the Virat Kohli-led side has continued to be ruthless on the hosts, New Zealand, with an unassailable lead 4-0 in this five-match T20I series.
The two teams will now move to the Bay Oval, in Mount Maunganui for the fifth and final game. India and New Zealand have met each other 15 times in T20 Internationals. New Zealand have the slight lead here having won eight of the encounters to India’s seven. In the last five T20Is though India have a comfortable 4-1 lead.
Ground Details and Team Combination:
Bay Oval has hosted six T20 Internationals since the start of 2016 and while the average run rate at this ground is a high 9.2, the bowlers have also enjoyed success at this venue having picked a wicket every 17.2 balls. The average runs/wicket here is also a relatively middling 26.4. So having as many all-rounders and hard-hitters in your side should be the way to go.
On the bowling front, both pacers and spinners almost have similar numbers. While pacers have picked a wicket every 18.6 balls in T20Is since the start of 2016, spinners have returned a wicket every 19.8 balls.
Amongst the different bowler types, leg-spinners have the best record at this venue. They have returned a wicket every 15 balls in T20Is since the start of 2016. They are followed closely by left-arm pacers and right-arm fast bowlers. Ish Sodhi and Yuzvendra Chahal, who have been extremely impressive so far this series should be considered without a second thought while someone like Jasprit Bumrah could also be a part of your side.
A combination of five frontline batsmen including the wicket-keeper, two all-rounders and four bowlers could be the way to go for this game.
It might look a left-field choice but Ish Sodhi has so far been excellent in the shortest format of the game and is proving his mettle this series. The joint-leading wicket-taker so far in the ongoing series Sodhi has returned six wickets in four innings striking every 16 balls. His economy rate is also a mighty impressive 7.4. Sodhi has an excellent record in Bay Oval and he will want to end the series on a high.
KL Rahul has been on fire since the start of 2019 and combined with his wicket-keeping skills has almost made himself undroppable, at least in the shortest format of the game. The right-hander has scored 634 runs since the start of 2019 in 16 innings averaging a strong 48.77. In a format where risk-taking is high, Rahul has shown remarkable consistency. Couple that with his wicket-keeping skills and Rahul is guaranteed to give you a lot of fantasy points.
Colin Munro blows hot and cold but in crunch times, he is one player who can change the course of a game single-handedly. The New Zealand opener smashed 64 in 47 balls in the fourth T20I and till the time he was out in the middle and looked well at ease. Furthermore, his record at Bay Oval is second to none. In five innings he has smoked one fifty and two centuries at this venue and averages a strong 61.4. He will want a repeat of one of those performances at one his favourite grounds.
Virat Kohli hasn’t really gotten going in this series and that is a rarity in itself. He will be itching and will want to finish off the series with a bang. Given his ruthlessness, nothing less than a 5-0 whitewash will satisfy Kohli. He has been in sublime form in the shortest format of the game. In 16 innings since the start of 2019, Kohli has 627 runs averaging 57. He will want to get back into the scheme of things before the ODIs and Tests.
It is expected to be partly cloudy on match day in Mount Maunganui but with minimum to no chances of rain. The temperature is expected to hover around the 19 to 28 degree range on average.
KL Rahul (wk/vc), Colin Munro, Ross Taylor, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Mitchell Santner, Scott Kuggeleijn, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ish Sodhi (c), Hamish Bennett, Shardul Thakur