HAMILTON: India is expected to achieve its first victory in the T20 International Series in New Zealand, and only a special return for hosts with difficulties in the third match here on Wednesday will delay what appears to be inevitable.
India won the T20 Internationals in Auckland by six and seven texts margins, to beat 2-0.
The third successive win in Seddon Park would give them their first victory of the T20I series on New Zealand soil, an achievement they had not achieved twice before. India lost 0-2 under Mahendra Singh Dhoni in 2008-09, and last year, India lost 1-2.
Overall, this Indian team has seen an increase in luck and has not been defeated in the five T20 series since the ODI 2019 World Cup, including the current team against Black Caps. The only competition they didn't win was against South Africa when the three-game series ended in a 1-1 draw after a match was canceled.
However, their current win from T20I will not make any major change to the ICC ranking. Currently, India is ranked fifth in the T20I ranking and needs to win the remaining three games, this series 5-0, to advance to fourth from the current fifth.
New Zealand is currently in sixth place. Pakistan, Australia, England and South Africa are ranked high on the leaderboard.
The biggest concern at the moment is the progress towards the T20 World Cup to be held in Australia later this year. However, in this context, the team's management is sure of the calm that several parts of the puzzle are starting to fit in, at the right time.
This is mainly due to the performance of KL Rahul and Shreyas Iyer in recent months, especially on the tour so far.
As such, no changes are expected in the Indian T20 team. On Tuesday, there was an optional training session with Captain Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, who were missing the action in the past games.
The support team worked closely with these players who have not yet had a chance to play in the series. Ravi Shastri pays much attention to the Washington Sunder, while batting trainer Vikram Rathour was extremely busy with Rishabh Pant. Both are expected to rest again on Wednesday.
There is a possibility of a change in the Indian composition. Kuldeep Yadav was out of the first two games in Auckland.
Chahal provides more control and moves his spin away from most of the right-handed batsmen in the black caps team and, therefore, against the swing arch.
Yadav is more adventurous on his journey, and the angle of his spin could have been easy fodder within the short borders of Eden Park.
It remains to be seen if Kuldeep Yadav returns to competition in Seddon Park. In addition, there is little chance that Chahal, Yadav will play together, a move that India has avoided since the ODI World Cup.
From New Zealand's point of view, this is the last chance for Colin de Grandhomme to make a good impression. The all-rounder on the team will be replaced in the last T20I by Tom Bruce.
Grandhomme has played as a striker so far in the series, and he has 0 and 3 scores in the first two games.
New Zealand is not very concerned about its bowling performance in this series, despite India's relative ease of chasing totals in the first two games. Its main concern is the rivalry with Indian bowling, especially Jasprit Bumrah, who has regained much of his pace.
In both games, they could not take him, either at the beginning or during the death overs. For its part, India mixed well with things in the second T20, keeping Jasprit Bumrah until later in the power play.
New Zealand performed poorly in Eden Park late, but it's record in Seddon Park is steady. They have won seven of the nine T20I games that they played here, and hope to prevent India from taking advantage of this game indisputably.
Teams IND VS NZIndia: Virat Kohli (Capt.), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul (wk), Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Navdeep Saini, Washington Sundar.
New Zealand: Kane Williamson (Capt.), Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Scott Kuggeleijn, Colin Munro, Colin de Grandhomme, Tom Bruce, Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (wk), Hamish Bennett, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Blair Tickner.