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India vs New Zealand 2017: Ravi Shastri and Shikhar Dhawan Seek Divine Help Ahead of Decider

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: November 7, 2017, 1:36 PM IST
India vs New Zealand 2017: Ravi Shastri and Shikhar Dhawan Seek Divine Help Ahead of Decider

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New Delhi: Chief coach Ravi Shastri and opener Shikhar Dhawan visited the famous Padmanabhaswamy Temple in Thiruvananthapuram on Monday ahead of the final T20I between India and New Zealand on Tuesday. The coach and opener spent quality time at the famous shrine in the morning and also performed rituals before joining the boys at the team hotel.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni's batting position will be under spotlight as India aim to go for the kill against a gutsy New Zealand in the third T20 International despite weather threatening to play spoilsport. The series is levelled at 1-1 and just like the preceding Australia series, where the series decider T20 at Hyderabad was a washout, there are chances that the 'winner takes it all' encounter against the 'Black Caps' could meet same fate with forecasts of rain by the Meteorological department.

The Virat Kohli-led India team has been on a roll in recent times but has faced stiff resistance from an enterprising New Zealand, usually known to punch above its weight.

It will be nearly three decades (29 years) since the city witnessed an international match and it has become all the more significant after calls to replace Dhoni from the shortest format gaining momentum.

Former India great VVS Laxman in no uncertain terms has said that while Dhoni can still be a part of ODIs, it's time to groom someone new in the shortest format. While 49 off 37 balls with a strike-rate of 132 may not be all that bad but the former captain's inability to rotate strike during the past one year has been a cause of concern. It will be interesting to see where Virat Kohli and chief coach Ravi Shastri slot Dhoni in the next game.

A school of thought suggests that Dhoni will be suited at No 4 in case India lose early wickets as it will give him time to settle down. The Indian team's performance has been one of contrast in the first two games.

They outplayed New Zealand in the first T20 International by 53 runs and then were crushed by 40 runs in the second game where Colin Munro took the bowling apart with a blistering hundred.
First Published: November 7, 2017, 9:14 AM IST

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