India vs New Zealand: Third T20 International Preview

Batsman faces bowler in front of packed cordon

We preview the third and final T20 International between India and New Zealand set to be played at the Greenfiueld International Stadium on 7 November. 

The hosts won the first match and the tourists the second, leaving all to play for in Tuesday's third at a venue that has never hosted international cricket before.

India's seam bowling bench strength is a concern, while the Black Caps will again be tested in and around the success of Saturday centurion Colin Munro.

India v New Zealand | Tuesday, 7 November | Greenfield International Stadium | 15:30

To Win Match
India 52/100 | Tie 35/1 | New Zealand 31/20

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The decision to replace the recently retired Ashish Nehra with rookie Mohammed Siraj backfired somewhat in Rajkot, but 72 hours later, the home side will likely back the young seamer for better in Thiruvananthapuram. Ever investing in their youth, the hosts are all but assured of a stronger performance from him.

The pressure proved too much after Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma fell early on the weekends. Virat Kohli was at his usual best, attempting to form the backbone of the middle order, but a hefty target caught up with him and Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Substantially more is required from Hardik Pandya and company.

Pandya is in the middle of a mini slump, with bat and ball, after bursting onto the international scene with plenty of wickets and runs. The selection of Manish Pandey or Dinesh Karthik would go a long way in offering him batting support, but then India might have to go with one less bowler.

Greenfield International Stadium, meanwhile, will make its international debut. It obviously has an unknown factor, but expectation is it will yield a deck typical of the sub-continent. Even if the new pitch initially provides good bounce and carry for the seamers, both teams should play two frontline spinners.

New Zealand
Munro was sublime in the second T20I, justifying his position at the top of the order entirely. Martin Guptill's near half-ton was a bit of a sideshow to some, but pretty important in the bigger picture. With the relative newbie and the veteran doing well in tandem, the Kiwis seem well set.

Trent Boult's turnaround was impressive, with the absence of Tim Southee prompting him to spearhead the attack with solid success. Southee won't likely play in the decider, as the visitors have no real reason to tinker with a winning formula. Colin de Grandhomme, therefore, needs to be spot on with his cutters and other slower balls.

New Zealand's ability to get on top of a powerpacked opposition order will again be under the pump. If they do manage early wickets, they simply must not let Dhoni and others finish well, taking the ascendancy back. To that end, Ish Sodhi and fellow spinner Mitchell Santner's collective role will be vital.

If triumphant at the toss, almost regardless of conditions, Kane Williamson should opt to bat first again. India are a strong chasing team, but faltered late last week - and that can be exploited. But discipline and adaptation will be on high demand depending on scenario and circumstance, of course, as Williamson keeps insisting.

Verdict: New Zealand 31/20
The visiting team doesn't often get the better of India in their own backyard, particularly in the shortest format of the international game, but the Black Caps probably will.

Written by Jonhenry Wilson for Hollywoodbets

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