T20 3: New Zealand vs India
Kane Williamson and Virat Kohli lead their teams to Hamilton for the third T20 match and one more win guarantees a series victory for the tourists.
With the first two matches in the bag, T20 3: New Zealand vs India will be the clincher in the five-match series if the Men in Blue continue in their rich vein of form. Cricket fans around the world expected an explosive start to this tour and it certainly came in the first game as the tourists faced a 200 plus total and battled back to win, but New Zealand surrendered more tamely in the second match.
Now the Black Caps have a mountain to climb and the latest New Zealand vs India here at SBOTOP say the climb is just too high. But a home win would at least keep the series alive for at least one more game.
The story so far…
The first T20 was a belter, with India chasing down a total of 203 after the Black Caps had posted that big score thanks to three quick-fire half-centuries. Big hitter Colin Munro plundered 59, and he was followed by skipper Williamson on 51 and Ross Taylor on 54 not-out.
But India chased down the total with half-centuries from KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer. There were 20 sixes in the match and Iyer smashed his third to haul the Men in Blue over the line.
It was a different story in the second match, again at Eden Park, on Sunday, when New Zealand stuttered to a modest total 132, with Martin Guptill and Tim Seifert top-scoring on 33. India chased the score down in some comfort with seven wickets and 15 balls to spare. Rahul and Iyer starred again with the bat after Rohit Sharma and Kohli had been dismissed early.
Black Caps bowlers must start firing
If New Zealand are to claw their way back into the series their bowlers need to start hitting their straps. In the second contest, paceman Tim Southee showed some intent dismissing Rohit Sharma and Kohli, but he stood alone.
While India’s Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah both bowled four overs at an economy rate of just over five runs an over, New Zealand’s bowling attack, without the injured Trent Boult, has had neither accuracy nor penetration, taking just seven wickets across the first two matches. Williamson tried spin bowler Mitchell Santner as an opener in the first game and, after conceding 12 off his first three deliveries, he did trap Rohit.
But despite seeing off the dangerous Rohit early in both games the Black Caps have failed to capitalise and Williamson will be looking for a big improvement from his bowling attack.
KL Rahul happy to open up
Injury to Shikhar Darwan has opened the door for KL Rahul to make his case for a top-order spot and he has made a sensational start. He hit his third successive half-century in the second T20 and has looked untroubled throughout. His two fifties in this series have been contrasting in style. He blasted 56 from 27 deliveries in the opener but was much more watchful while chasing down a smaller total in the second game.
Six hitters will prosper
Good news for Rohit Sharma, if he does make a start at the third attempt he could make hay at Hamilton’s Seddon Park. It will be a flat track and the short boundaries are easily reachable with a well-timed flick or even a miss-timed swipe!
There was carnage for the bowlers at this venue two years ago, when Munro smashed seven sixes, and England’s Eoin Morgan and Dawid Malan plundered six and five as the total for the day reached 28.
Only the weather is likely to scupper our hopes of seeing some more 200-plus totals.
Both teams have had plenty of success in terms of New Zealand vs India results over the past four years. India have won 15 of three 26 clashes between these two countries since 2016. But recent form is more telling. The Men in Blue have won four on the run, while New Zealand are on a losing streak of five. And the way the first two games went, I really can’t see these sequences being broken.
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