■ With series locked 1-1, the decider promises a thriller
Hamilton, Feb. 9: In a season of many firsts for the Indian cricket team, Rohit Sharma’s men will be aiming to become first among the equals to win a T20 International series in New Zealand when the two sides clash in the final match here on Sunday.
The past three months have made for a memorable phase for the Indian cricket team, who won their first Test and bilateral ODI series in Australia followed by the biggest one-day series win in New Zealand.
A first T20 series victory in New Zealand will be the icing on the cake for the ‘Men in Blue’, who have far exceeded expectations during their three-month sojourn in this part of the world. With the series locked at 1-1, there is everything to play for in the decider which promises to be a cracker of a contest on a ‘Super Sunday’ with a spicy Seddon Park pitch in the offing.
India will do well to remember the nightmare that they endured during the fourth ODI at this venue where they were shot out for 92 in the wake of some quality swing bowling from Trent Boult. However, Sunday will be a different day and there can’t be a bigger motivation than winning yet another series in challenging overseas conditions.
“We have played in Hamilton and there won’t be any surprise element as far as the pitch is concerned. Also having won the second game gives us confidence going into the final match,” left-arm speedster Khaleel Ahmed had said after series levelling second T20I, when
asked about the Hamilton game.
“We have rectified some of our mistakes from the first game and hopefully a few which are there will also be corrected,” Khaleel added. India played the same XI in the first two games and in all likelihood, will maintain continuity unless there are some niggles.
M.S. Dhoni (left) and Rishabh Pant.