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India vs New Zealand: Can India Continue Enviable Recent Record in Deciders at Hamilton?

The stunning revelation is the stupendous record India boasts of in such series deciders/tournament finals in recent years.

Nikhil Narain |Cricketnext |February 9, 2019, 7:11 PM IST
India vs New Zealand: Can India Continue Enviable Recent Record in Deciders at Hamilton?

India and New Zealand will lock horns in the third and final T20I in Hamilton on Sunday to decide the series winner. India have a phenomenal record in T20I cricket over the last 12-15 months. They have not lost a single series having won 7 and drawn two of the nine series they have played in this period (since October 2017).

Their record in ODI cricket is no different. They have won 13 of the 15 series/tournaments they have played since June 2016 – that is a great record. Apart from the loss to Pakistan in the Champions Trophy Final in 2017, the only other loss was to England in the bilateral series in 2018.

While India have dominated series scorelines more often than not in the last couple of years, there have been instances when the series has gone to the wire and determined by a deciding final match.

The stunning revelation is the stupendous record India boasts of in such series deciders/tournament finals in recent years.

India have played 14 series deciders/tournament finals since the beginning of 2015. They have won a whopping 11 and lost just three such matches – this is an incredible feat! This showcases the ability of the Indian team to perform on the big stage in the matches which matter and decide the fate of a series/tournament.

It indicates that India have brilliantly handled the pressure that comes with playing and performing in these matches and came out with flying colours more often than not.

India have won 5 and lost 3 such matches in ODI cricket since January 2015.

But incredibly won all the 6 series-deciders in T20I cricket in this period – a brilliant achievement to say the least.

Let us study this in some detail.

India

ODI cricket (Series-Deciders/Tournament Finals) since 2015

- South Africa in India, 2015 (2-3, lost): SA won by 214 runs in Mumbai

- New Zealand in India, 2016 (3-2, won): India won by 190 runs in Visakhapatnam

- Champions Trophy, 2017 (lost in final): Pakistan won by 180 runs at the Oval

- New Zealand in India, 2017 (2-1, won): India won by 6 runs in Kanpur

- Sri Lanka in India, 2017 (2-1, won): India won by 8 wickets in Visakhapatnam

- India in England, 2018 (1-2, lost): England won by 8 wickets at Leeds

- Asia Cup, 2018 (won in final): India beat Bangladesh by 3 wickets in Dubai

- India in Australia, 2019 (2-1, won): India won by 7 wickets in Melbourne

In three of these series (New Zealand 2017, Sri Lanka 2017, Australia 2019), India lost the opening match and came from behind to win the series.

Virat Kohli has been India’s highest run-getter in these 8 matches scoring 307 runs in 6 innings at an average of 51.16 and strike rate of 92.74. He has registered one hundred and 2 fifties.

Kohli is followed by Rohit Sharma who has aggregated 299 runs at 37.37 (in 8 innings) at a strike rate of 90.60, including one hundred and one fifty each. He is followed by Shikhar Dhawan who aggregates 277 runs in 7 such matches at an average of 46.16 and strike rate of 93.89. His exploits also include a hundred and a fifty each.

MS Dhoni also averages a healthy 43.66 in 7 such matches but his strike rate of 71.19 remains a concern, especially given the fact that he bats in the middle/lower-middle order. Interestingly, Kedar Jadhav has made good use of the limited opportunities he has had in series-deciders/tournament finals. His 150 runs in 5 innings which include 3 not-outs boost his average to 75 but more importantly, he strikes at an excellent rate of 104.16.

Yuzvendra Chahal, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni 2009

Yuzvendra Chahal has been India’s stand-out bowler in these matches – he has picked 12 wickets in 5 innings at an average of 17.25 and strike rate of 24, including a five-wicket haul. He has also been the most restrictive bowler for India in these matches with an economy of 4.31. Kuldeep has played his part too with 6 wickets in three matches – he has also been very economical conceding just 4.73 runs per over.

Although Bumrah hasn’t picked a heap of wickets in the 5 matches he has played (six wickets), he has been very economical giving away just 5.16 runs per over. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been a bit of a disappointment in such matches picking just 6 wickets from 7 innings at 64.50 apiece. He has also been expensive conceding 6.57 runs per over.

T20I cricket (Series-Deciders/Tournament Finals) since 2015

- Sri Lanka in India, 2016 (2-1, won): India won by 9 wickets in Visakhapatnam

- India in Zimbabwe, 2016 (2-1, won): India won by 3 runs in Harare

- England in India, 2017 (2-1, won): India won by 75 runs in Bengaluru

- New Zealand in India, 2017 (2-1, won): India won by 6 runs in Thiruvananthapuram

- India in South Africa, 2018 (2-1, won): India won by 7 runs in Cape Town

- India in England, 2018 (2-1, won): India won by 7 wickets in Bristol

It is no mean feat that India have won all their six series-deciders in T20I cricket since January 2015. They came back from 0-1 to win against Sri Lanka (2016), Zimbabwe (2016) and England (2017).

Rohit Sharma

Rohit has been the highest run-scorer for India in these matches with 132 runs in 4 innings, including one hundred. He has averaged 44 and matched that with a phenomenal strike rate of 153.48. Suresh Raina scored 106 runs in 2 such matches at a strike rate if 147.22. Dhawan’s strike rate – 109.47 - has been slightly below par in these matches. He has also managed to score just 104 runs in 4 innings.

But the biggest surprise has been the form of Kohli in these matches – he has just managed to aggregate 58 runs in 3 innings. Hardik Pandya hasn’t scored too many runs – which is understandable as he gets to face limited deliveries batting in the lower-order – but it is his strike rate of 175.55 which stands out.

Bumrah and Chahal have been the standout bowlers for India in these matches. They have both taken 7 wickets each (in 5 and 4 innings) at the same average of 13.57. They have also been very restrictive with economy rates of 6.12 and 6.78 respectively.

India will go into the decider in Hamilton with an enviable record and history in their favour.

Can they make it 7 out of 7 in T20I deciders post 2015? Or will New Zealand play spoilsport?

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Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4027 115
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 South Africa 2917 108
4 England 3778 105
5 Australia 2640 98
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 7365 283
2 England 4253 266
3 South Africa 4196 262
4 India 8099 261
5 Australia 5471 261
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