Putting an all-round effort in the second T20 international against the hosts New Zealand, India registered a comprehensive 7-wicket victory to take 2-0 lead in the 5-match series in Auckland.
The third contest will be held at Seddon Park in Hamilton on January 29. Of all the encounters that India and New Zealand have had in T20 Internationals, India have won five, while the Kiwis have won eight matches. Out of the seven matches played in New Zealand, India have won thrice after registering two back to back victory in the ongoing series, while New Zealand have claimed four wins. In the last 5 matches between India and New Zealand, India have the lead having won two encounters.
Ground details and team combination
Hamilton has hosted nine T20 internationals since 2008 and seven times the Kiwis have emerged victorious. These two sides have met each other in February 2019 and New Zealand defeated India by four runs in that encounter. This well-grassed stadium has a very good batting track with average first innings score being 177. Among all the cricket grounds in New Zealand, Seddon Park has the highest batting average, that of 38.8.
The track has a history of favouring spin bowlers, but in the last three T20Is since 2015, the pitch provided appropriate aid to pacers. The former have taken a wicket in every 29.1 balls, while the pacers have taken a wicket in every 24.7 deliveries.
On the bowling front, left-arm pacers have been the most effective at this venue having taken a wicket every 21.4 balls since the start of 2015. They are followed by right-arm pacers, left-arm orthodox spinners and leg-spinners. For right-arm pacers, Jasprit Bumrah took a wicket in every 24 deliveries and at an economy rate of 6.5, the lowest among all the bowlers in the last two matches. Shardul Thakur economically proved costly but he took a wicket in every 15 deliveries, the lowest in right-arm-pacers. Shivam Dube is also a good option.
A combination of six frontline batsmen including the wicket-keeper, two all-rounders and three bowlers could be the way to go for this game.
Most of the people would be undoubtedly going to pick KL Rahul as their captain and why not? The young Karnataka batsmen played at an average of 113 in the last two matches, the highest among all the batsmen in the current squads. Apart from an impressive display with gloves, KL Rahul scored back to back match-winning fifties to help the visitors kick start the tour on a high. In the last 10 innings, he has averaged 56.38 at a strike rate of 143.2.
Virat Kohli has been in classic form since the start of 2019 in the shortest format, having smashed 578 runs in 14 innings averaging 64.22. In the first match of the ongoing series against New Zealand, Virat Kohli performed outstandingly by scoring 45 runs, while in the second match the skipper could not produce a satisfactory score but his overall form in T20 format is spectacular. Having won the ODI series against Australia, Men in Blue are eyeing another series win in the T20I against the Kiwis under the guidance of Kohli.
In the last two matches, New Zealand’s opener Martin Guptill played decent knocks scoring 30 off 19 balls and 33 off 20 runs respectively. His numbers at Seddon Park are even more spectacular. He has scored 287 runs averaging 71.75 at a strike rate of 144.22 in the last five innings at the venue.
Mumbai batsman Shreyas Iyer has somehow proved his mettle at number four. In the last two matches against the hosts, the 25-year-old youngster provided important assistance to his fellows to register comprehensive victories in both the matches. He scored 102 runs at a strike rate of 164.5 averaging 102. He has shown the calibre that the Men in Blue require at present. Given the form he is in, the young Indian batsman walks into your team straight away as he has learned to perform under pressure.
There are 40% chances of rain in Hamilton in the morning hours. The match will start at 8 pm local time and there is no rain predicted in the evening. The temperature is expected to hover around the 25 degree Celsius on match day.
Colin Munro, Martin Guptill (vc), KL Rahul (c/wk), Virat Kohli, Kane Williamson, Shreyas Iyer, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Ish Sodhi, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah