India vs New Zealand 3rd T20I on January 24 (Wednesday) will be broadcast on the Star Sports Network and live streaming will be available on Hotstar. The match will be played in Hamilton and will begin at 12:20 HRS IST. You can also follow all the action on our live blog (IND vs NZ).
To back up the talk about only focusing on the game, Virat Kohli and India produced emphatic performances in Auckland which has brought them to within touching distance of a first T20I series win in New Zealand. India lost 0-2 (2008/09) and 1-2 last year in their previous attempts.
India, who have identified their core players for the format ahead of the T20 World Cup, are unlikely to shuffle the pack too much on Wednesday as they look to complete a third consecutive win in Hamilton on Wednesday.
Alongside Rohit Sharma, who’s had tough return from a break, the second opener’s slot and the number 4 were areas India needed solutions for at the start of the series. But the performances of KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer in the first two games would have gone a long way in the matter. Manish Pandey alongside Ravindra Jadeja have also been sharp in the field, helping India make it tougher for the opposition.
On Tuesday, there was an optional practice session with skipper Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, the ones missing in action. The support staff worked closely with those players who haven’t yet received a chance to play in the series yet. Ravi Shastri paid close attention to Washington Sundar, while batting coach Vikram Rathour was busy with Rishabh Pant. Both are expected to sit out again on Wednesday.
Kohli, who had a rare failure with the bat in the second T20I, will hope that his side can retain the intensity with both bat and ball in Hamilton against the hosts, who have at times looked short of ideas, especially in the second T20I. Kane Williamson’s captaincy is on the line and he not only has a depleted bowling attack to worry about but also how they will counter Jasprit Bumrah.
The Indian pacer, who is back bowling at full throttle, has returned with figures of 1/31 and 1/21 in the first two games and has been the toughest to score off.
The focus for the Kiwis will be on Colin de Grandhomme as well to make an impression after two forgettable days playing as a batsman only. The all-rounder will be replaced in the squad for the last two T20Is by batsman Tom Bruce. Grandhomme has played strictly as a batsman so far in this series, and has scores of 0 and 3 in the first two games.
The likes of Colin Munro, Martin Guptill and Ross Taylor will need to step up and so will the fielding which has been poor from the hosts’ point of view.
New Zealand have had a poor run at Eden Park off late, but their record at Seddon Park holds them in good stead. They have won seven out of nine T20Is played here, and will be hoping to stop India from taking an unassailable lead in the series.
India: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul (wk), Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Navdeep Saini, Washington Sundar.
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (capt), Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Scott Kuggeleijn, Colin Munro, Colin de Grandhomme, Tom Bruce, Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (wk), Hamish Bennett, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Blair Tickner.