New Zealand must win the third T20I against India in Hamilton to keep their hopes alive in the five-match series, which they trail 2-0.
New Zealand vs India, 3rd T20I
Seddon Park, Hamilton
Wednesday, 29 January; 08:00pm local, 07.00am GMT
New Zealand have never lost a T20I series to India at home, but injuries to multiple regular players and an out-of-form side have made it difficult for them to restrain the visitors this time. While pacers Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson are unavailable for the series due to injuries, usually dependable all-rounders Colin de Grandhomme and Mitchell Santner have been out of form.
New Zealand might consider bringing in Daryl Mitchell or Scott Kuggeleijn in place of Blair Tickner, who has picked up just one wicket in the series so far, conceding 68 runs in six overs. India, on the other hand, may prefer not to tinker with the winning combination and field the same XI in Hamilton.
Remember the last time
KL Rahul's third consecutive fifty in T20I powered India to a seven-wicket victory in Auckland, where the visitors chased down a 133-run target within 18 overs. The right-hander joined forces with the impressive Shreyas Iyer after the quick dismissals of Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, lifting the visitors from 39/2 to 125/3.
The visitors' bowling attack dished out an excellent performance, restricting New Zealand to 132/5 and conceding just 12 boundaries in 20 overs. Ravindra Jadeja was the pick of the bowlers, returning figures of 2/18 in his four-over spell. Martin Guptill impressed for the hosts at the beginning of the game, registering a 20-ball 33 at the top of the order. Tim Seifert also looked dangerous in the middle overs, scoring unbeaten 33 runs to take the hosts to a modest total.
What they said
Virat Kohli, India captain: "I know New Zealand are going to bounce back hard. We need to bring our A game again and we are up for the challenge. I think the dimensions of Hamilton are better than Auckland, it's an even field for the bowlers."
Kane Williamson, New Zealand captain: "We need to keep moving forward as a group as we're up against a tough side like India. That's a great thing, we get to test ourselves against the best."
While both T20Is in the series have been won by the chasing side, the conditions at Seddon Park might present a dilemma before the captains: Teams batting first have won three out of the last four T20Is at this venue. It is not an easy track to bat on, with the 200-mark being breached just four times in 18 innings. Cloudy conditions are forecasted in Hamilton in the evening, but there's no threat of rain.
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