NZ v India 4th T20I Preview: Kiwis Aim to Bridge the Gap Between Competitive and Victorious in Wellington
While India are expected to bring in Navdeep Saini and Washington Sundar in place of Mohammad Shami and Ravindra Jadeja respectively, the hosts will draft in Daryl Mitchell for the outgoing Colin de Grandhomme.
Venue - Sky Stadium, Wellington
Start time - 07:00 AM GMT | 08:00 PM LOCAL | 12:30 PM IST
Head to Head record in T20Is - New Zealand: 8 India: 6 Tied: 0 No Result: 0
Weather - Cloudy, 22°C, Precipitation: 0%, Humidity: 73%, Wind: 47 km/h
Watch out for the strong wind, be it for the swing bowlers or the catch that swirls up.
Not a high-scoring venue
Unlike Auckland's Eden Park or Hamilton's Seddon Park, the Sky Stadium in Wellington - formerly known as the Westpac Stadium - does not always host a run fest.
A total of 11 T20Is have been played at this venue in which the team batting first has won 4 times while the one batting second has won 7. The average score batting first here is 161 which is not too high given the current trend. The highest score made on this ground is by the hosts - 219/6.
The last T20I that was played at this venue was between New Zealand and England - the 2nd T20I of the five-match series. New Zealand posted 176 runs in that game and bowled out England for just 155, winning by 21 runs. It is not often that the team batting second falls this short. The venue thus will have something in it for the bowlers.
New Zealand fail to grab big moments
New Zealand have competed well in all the three matches of the series till now but the scoreline fails to show that. The reason is New Zealand's disability to capitalise on the big moments.
The stage was set for New Zealand to blast 230-odd in the series opener but they became a bit over cautious and scored 203. This may still look like a decent score but it was at least 15 runs short on a batting beauty such as the Eden Park.
In the second T20I, the hosts had a golden opportunity after winning the toss to bat second but they chose the opposite and had to pay the price. With their batting collapsing for just 132, India gobbled the target with two and half overs to spare.
In the third T20I as well, it was New Zealand's game to win after they put the mockers on the Indian batting post the 89-run opening partnership. However, just when the Kiwis were about to get over the line, they became tentative and ended up losing the game in the Super Over.
The Black Caps will have to get a bit more assertive and step up in big situations or they will have to pay the price again.
Opportunities for Saini and Sundar
With India having taken an unassailable 3-0 lead in the T20I series, it is now time to hand some opportunities to the youngsters on the bench. Navdeep Saini and Washington Sundar are almost a certainty to be given a look in. Wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav is also in line for the same. There is also case for Rishabh Pant to be included.
However, the team will not make all the changes at once and will bring in a couple of guys in this match while the remaining ones will be given a go in the last game. Saini and Sundar are likely to come in for Shami and Jadeja respectively.
The all-rounder swap for the Kiwis
It is such a shame that just when Colin de Grandhomme got a chance to prove his worth with the ball and fared well, he is no longer part of the squad for the remaining two matches of the series. Tom Bruce replaces him in the squad. But, the Kiwis will swap de Grandhomme with Daryl Mitchell.
Scott Kuggeleijn, who came into the last match in place of Blair Tickner, did an excellent job and will retain his place.
Here's a look at the probable playing XI of both teams:
New Zealand - Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (c), Ross Taylor, Tim Seifert (wk), Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Scott Kuggeleijn, Ish Sodhi, Hamish Bennett
India - Rohit Sharma, Lokesh Rahul (wk), Virat Kohli (c), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Mohammad Shami/Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Navdeep Saini
This is where you can catch all the live action across the globe:
India & Subcontinent: Star Sports, DD National (DD1), DD Sports, Hotstar
New Zealand: SKY Sport NZ
UK: Sky Sports Cricket
Australia: Fox Sports
South Africa: SuperSport
Canada: ATN Cricket Plus (Asian Television Network), CBN
USA: Willow TV, Hotstar
Malaysia: Astro Cricket HD
Middle East and North Africa (MENA): OSN Sports Cricket HD
Bangladesh: Gazi TV (GTV)
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