Quite surprisingly, both teams decided to go unchanged in the 2nd T20I. Especially India, after getting a beating at the hands of the Kiwis showed a lot of faith in their players and backed the likes of Khaleel Ahmed.
The move paid off as Khaleel turned out to be the most successful bowler with economical figures. He also picked up two wickets and shared the new ball with Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Unexpectedly, Krunal Pandya was the pick of the Indian bowlers as he picked up three wickets to break the back of the New Zealand middle order. Hardik Pandya also played his part and bowled well both in the middle as well as at the death.
The result was that New Zealand were left stuttering at 50 odd for 4 at one point. But it was the partnership between Colin de Grandhomme and Ross Taylor that put them back on track. However, India pulled back their momentum and restricted them below 160 which was a below par score at Eden Park.
In reply, Rohit Sharma killed the chase with an explosive half-century while Shikhar Dhawan also contributed at the top. With MS Dhoni and Rishabh Pant at the crease, India were able to close the match without any further jitters.
Both teams are expected to go in with the same playing XI for the decider. The conditions in Hamilton are expected to support the bowlers and it would be about calculated risks that will see either team through in the 3rd T20I.
Let's have a look at the predicted playing XI of both teams.
New Zealand- Tim Seifert, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson, Daryl Mitchell, Ross Taylor, Colin de Grandhomme, Mitchell Santner, Scott Kuggeleijn, Tim Southee, Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson
India- Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni, Vijay Shankar, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, K Khaleel Ahmed
Who will win? – New Zealand
Top Batsman (Runs Scored) – Rishabh Pant (India), Tim Seifert (New Zealand)
Top Bowler (Wickets taken) – Bhuvneshwar Kumar (India), Lockie Ferguson (New Zealand)
Most Sixes – Rohit Sharma (India), Colin Munro (New Zealand)
Team Scores Batting First – India 170+, New Zealand 175+
*NB these predictions may be changed nearer the start of the match once the final starting teams have been announced and we will be running ‘In–Play’ features soon, so stay tuned.
© Cricket World 2019