While New Zealand had managed to put India under a little bit of pressure with a huge score on the board in the first T20I, the Men in Blue hardly had to break a sweat in the second T20I. They made an easy task of it with a world-class bowling performance and a very composed chase to go 2-nil up in the series.
India have three matches in hand now to win their first-ever T20I series in New Zealand, but they would want to be clinical in every game coming their way. The kind of intensity Virat Kohli demands from this Indian team, it is unlikely that they turn up at Seddon Park with any sort of complacency.
India would want to seal the series in the third T20I itself so that the team management can afford to try out the fringe players in the last two games of the series.
For New Zealand, every game is a must-win from here on, but they can take heart from the fact that their record in T20 internationals at Seddon Park is fantastic. The Kiwis have played 9 T20Is at this venue and have managed to win 7 of them.
The last time New Zealand played a T20I against India at Seddon Park, they won the game by a huge margin of 80 runs. They would surely want to replicate that kind of performance again.
Also see – World Test Championship points table
Date: January 29, 2020 (Wednesday)
Time: 12:30 PM (IST)
Venue: Seddon Park, Hamilton
The weather forecast for Hamilton is not very good on Wednesday. The humidity will be as high as 66% and there are chances of scattered showers during the game. The fans would sincerely be hoping that the forecast doesn’t turn out to be spot-on and a full 40-over game is possible without any hindrance.
The pitch at Seddon Park will have bounce and carry and the stroke-players will enjoy the nature of the pitch.
Like many other grounds in New Zealand, this ground also has short boundaries, which makes defending any sort of total really difficult for the teams batting second.
The playing conditions won’t change much through the course of the 40 overs and it’s expected to be a high scoring game. The captain winning the toss is likely to field first.
Shardul Thakur got another go in the second T20I, but he was expensive once again. The right-arm seamer went at a rate of more than 10 runs per over and didn’t even bowl his full quota of overs.
Virat Kohli might be tempted to bring in the young, lanky fast bowler Navdeep Saini to replace Shardul, given how well he bowled in the ODI series back home against Australia. The rest of the Indian playing XI should remain the same.
New Zealand would probably like to make a couple of changes. Scott Kuggeleijn and Daryl Mitchell, who have warmed the bench in the last couple of games, might get a look-in.
Blair Tickner might have to make way for Kuggeleijn, while Daryl Mitchell might get a go-ahead of Ish Sodhi, given the fact that the pitch at Seddon Park is not expected to offer too much for spinners.
Predicted XI: Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Kane Williamson (C), Colin de Grandhomme, Ross Taylor, Time Seifert (WK), Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Scott Kuggeleijn, Tim Southee, Hamish Bennett
With the momentum that India have found early on in the series, it seems really difficult for New Zealand to stop the men in blue from here on.
Although the Black Caps have fond memories of playing against India at Seddon Park, the in-form Indian side might prove to be better than them this time around. The prediction is for India to win the third T20I and take an unassailable lead of 3-0 in the series.
TV: Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD, Star Sports 3