India vs New Zealand, 3rd T20I Preview: India aim to continue winning run with eye on next T20 World Cup
India have had the coin landing their way in the first two T20Is.
LIVE SCORES - India vs New Zealand, 3rd T20I
India's dominance in bilateral series
It is strange how comfortable India looked in bilateral series, but the picture flips when it comes to multinational events. The ease with which India have taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match T20I series reiterates the depth and the strength of the Indian side despite coming on the back of a disappointing T20 World Cup campaign.
The new pair of head coach Rahul Dravid and full-time captain Rohit Sharma have started off their era with an impressive series victory despite the absence of some of India's leading players like Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja.
Accepted that Kane Williamson and Kyle Jamieson are not available for this series but the Kiwis are still playing at close to their full strength. A couple of blips aside, the ease with which India have got over the line in the first two matches deserves mention.
Toss going in India's favour
That said, India have also had the big advantage of winning the toss both times and opting to chase with the dew having played a major role. It can be said that there was ample dew in the first innings in Ranchi as well but chasing is always the preferred choice in T20 cricket unless there's a massive offsetting factor.
New Zealand brought back their first-choice players Ish Sodhi, Adam Milne and Jimmy Neesham after the three took a break for the first match of the series. Perhaps, they would have been a bit fatigued after travelling from the UAE to the westernmost part of India in Rajasthan and a day off did them good.
However, despite the presence of these three players, India were successful in clinching the match by 7 wickets and they did it quite comfortably.
Time to have a look at Avesh Khan?
There will be a temptation for the Indian team to try out the likes of Yuzvendra Chahal, Avesh Khan, Ishan Kishan or Ruturaj Gaikwad who are currently warming the benches. However, going by Rohit Sharma's statement in the post match presentation after the 2nd T20I, that does not look likely.
The point he made was that the likes of Venkatesh Iyer, Axar Patel, Deepak Chahar, Harshal Patel and Shreyas Iyer have themselves not played a lot of international cricket in recent times and he would like to stick to this combination.
Sharma also alluded to the fact that there are more than 20 T20 Internationals to come before the upcoming T20 World Cup and the fringe players will have their chances when the time is right.
If at all, India can look to try out Avesh Khan who is in the form of his life in place of Deepak Chahar who has not been able to leave a mark in the first two matches.
Can NZ bring Ferguson in?
New Zealand do not have much to choose from with Kane Williamson and Kyle Jamieson unavailable for the T20Is.
The team has Lockie Ferguson, Todd Astle and Rachin Ravindra on the bench. It is a 50-50 choice but they can choose to go for Lockie Ferguson ahead of Adam Milne.
Predicted playing XIs
India - Rohit Sharma (c), KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Venkatesh Iyer, Axar Patel, Harshal Patel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar/Avesh Khan
New Zealand - Martin Guptill, Daryl Mitchell, Mark Chapman, Glenn Phillips, Tim Seifert (wk), Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee (c), Ish Sodhi, Adam Milne/Lockie Ferguson, Trent Boult
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