India vs New Zealand: India’s predicted XI for 3rd T20 – Couple of changes expected
Here’s a look at the predicted XI for the Indian team for the third and final clash of the series in Hamilton.Updated: Feb 10, 2019 08:42 IST
After the hiding that they received in Wellington, Rohit Sharma and his troops roared back to life in the second T20I to level the series in Auckland. The series decider will be played in Hamilton and the ‘Men in Blue’ will look to seal the series and end the tour on a positive note. Here’s a look at the predicted XI for the Indian team for the third and final clash of the series.
Stand-in-skipper Rohit Sharma returned to his best and smashed a breathtaking half-century to play a crucial role in India’s win. Due to his exploits in the last match, Rohit also became the leading run-getter in the shortest format. The swashbuckling right-hander will now look for a similar performance in Hamilton.
Shikhar Dhawan has been able to get off to starts, but hasn’t converted them into big scores in his recent innings. Such was the case in Auckland as well where he put together a fifty-run stand with Rohit but then was dismissed for 30. Dhawan will hope for a big score under his belt before the team’s soujorn in New Zealand ends.
Youngster Shubman Gill is expected to make his debut in the last match of the series in place of all-rounder Vijay Shankar. Shubman played couple of matches in the ODI series but failed to make the most of it as he was dismissed in single digits in both the outings. As for Shankar, with India well-stocked in the bowling department, the visitors will look for a specialist batsman in the line-up and that is where Gill comes into the mix.
Middle-order batsman Rishabh Pant played a starring role in Auckland and took the team over the line in his trademark style. While there is no doubting Pant’s talent, he needs continuity in the team as he has been in and out of the line-up for a while now.
Wicket-keeper-batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni once again illustrated his ice-cool persona during the Auckland chase. After the fall quick wickets, Dhoni struck an unbeaten partnership with Pant to fire India to a well-deserved win. Moreover, his suggestions to bowlers from behind the stumps are a priceless asset for the team.
Middle-order batsman Dinesh Karthik remains a calming presence in the side and has done the job of a finisher really well in the last couple of years. Although Karthik failed with the bat in the first T20I and didn’t get a chance to bat in the second, the right-hander will be eager to leave his mark in Hamilton if the need arises.
Since his return into the Indian playing XI, all-rounder Hardik Pandya has done well with both bat and ball. Pandya didn’t get a chance to bat in the last match but did manage to pick one wicket. Pandya is regarded as one of the best all-rounders in the shortest format and he is one of the first names of the team sheet for that very reason.
All-rounder Krunal Pandya had an excellent last game where he was adjudged the man of the match as well. Pandya’s three scalps paved way for an emphatic win for India and the left-arm spinner will look for the same in Hamilton as well.
After giving away runs at the rate of 11.7 per over in the first match, fast-bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar made amends in the second and was one of the best Indian bowlers. Bhuvi bowled an excellent first spell where he provided India with an early breakthrough to set the tone of the innings.
Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav is expected to return in the line-up in place of leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal who has been taken for plenty in the first two matches. In the last game, Chahal was taken for 37 runs and also went wicket-less in four overs. India will look to bring back Kuldeep to stem the flow of runs in the middle-overs.
Left-am pacer Khaleel Ahmed was India’s best bowler in Auckland in terms of economy rate. Not just that, he picked up two crucial wickets as well and also bowled exceedingly well in the death overs. Khaleel will look to build on this good performance in the next game in Hamilton.
First Published: Feb 09, 2019 11:38 IST