Ahead of the series, stand-in coach VVS Laxman said multi-dimensional players are the need of the hour in T20 cricket. “We need bowlers who can bat and batters who can bowl.” But again, the lack of a sixth bowling option has become an achillies heel for Team India.
Sanju likely sit out
The non-inclusion of Sanju Samson in the T20Is against New Zealand have raised eyebrows. While Samson’s omission invited plenty of criticism, but he was again ommited from the second ODI because India can’t afford to drop to Rishabh Pant and lack of bowling options among the specialist batters also effectively mean that Sanju Samson has to once again sit out, like the last game where Deepak Hooda, because of his all-round skills, was preferred over the immensely popular cricketer from Kerala.
Kuldeep over Chahal
Since the last match was a wash-out, it will be interesting if interim head coach VVS Laxman decides to shuffle with the playing XI, especially the bowling attack where Kuldeep Yadav is yet to get an opportunity. But to leave out either Yuzvendra Chahal or Washington Sundar will be doing them a disservice. Sundar has proved his worth with tha bat as well.
India vs New Zealand weather report
There is forecast of scattered showers in Christchurch. With more wet weather forecast it could be a good toss to win. We would expect the winning captain to bowl first.
India vs New Zealand Pitch Report
There have been five games in the last five years at the Hagley Oval. The average runs per over is 5.4. There have been two scores of more than 270, although one first-innings was reduced by rain to 23 overs.
India vs New Zealand Predicted Playing XI
New Zealand Predicted XI: Finn Allen, Devon Conway, Kane Williamson, Daryl Mitchell, Glenn Phillips, Tom Latham, Michael Bracewell, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Locki Ferguson, Matt Henry
India vs New Zealand Squads
India: Shikhar Dhawan (captain), Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Deepak Hooda, Washington Sundar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Deepak Chahar, Arshdeep Singh, Shardul Thakur and Umran Malik.
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (captain), Finn Allen, Devin Conway, Tom Latham, Daryl Mitchell, Glenn Phillips, Michael Bracewell, Tim Southee, Matt Henry, Adam Milne, Jimmy Neesham, Mitchell Santner and Lockie Ferguson.
Third ODI Live on Amazon Prime, DD from 7 AM onwards