This might be the starting XI for the Indian cricket team for the 3rd T20I against New Zealand!

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India vs New Zealand | India’s predicted XI for the third T20I at Seddon Park in Hamilton

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SportsCafe Desk

02/09/2019

With a comprehensive performance, India levelled the series at the Eden Park and would brace to win the last game so as to end their trip to southern hemisphere without losing a series. However, New Zealand will also push themselves to restore some confidence ahead of the Bangladesh series.

Openers

Rohit Sharma: It is the mercurial nature of the Mumbaikar that fetches him more fans than any traditional cricketer. He is the quintessential T20 cricketer of the generation and New Zealand learned that the hard way in the second game. The stand-in Indian skipper is a good tactician when the cricket is finite and that gives him +1. 

Shikhar Dhawan: The southpaw looked scratchy in the second game, but the good thing is that he didn’t at least throw his wicket away. He had a decent tour of New Zealand but would love to get a big one tomorrow before returning to the familiar clime of India to play Australia.

Middle-order

Rishabh Pant: He is the reserve wicket-keeper in the team, but to stake his claim for the World Cup, Pant needed to play at least one innings of authority and he did. He scored 40 runs to guide India past the finishing line, and the best thing was that he looked fearless in his approach. 

Vijay Shankar: One thing is clear that this guy can bat. He seems to be a clean-hitter and his approach has also given the Indian team management someone as prolific as him to bank upon, which will be the biggest satisfying thing for the Tamil Nadu all-rounder. Shankar can also chip in with the ball to go with his amazing fielding ability.

MS Dhoni: The moment of the match for any Dhoni fan would be the way Dhoni dabbed with one hand to backward point to take a single because he had saved himself from a clear stumping. It is this game awareness that has personified his legacy among his countless fans, and the Kiwis wouldn’t want that for sure.

Dinesh Karthik: After a forgettable outing in Wellington, the veteran Indian player didn’t get a chance to bat in the second game. Despite accumulating some numbers in the IPL, Karthik has failed to translate that at the highest level, majorly because of the lack of consistent performances. However, with the World Cup knocking the door, that can’t be an excuse.

All-rounders

Hardik Pandya: The much-hyped return of the prodigal son was restricted to some eye-popping performances in the ODI format as he has struggled big-time in the first two T20Is. His length was completely off at times, and he even failed to lure the batsmen with his lines. 

Krunal Pandya: The senior Pandya just proved that what he brings to the table. While taking three Kiwi wickets, Krunal made sure that New Zealanders had a problem against finger spinners as well, and the myth of playing finger spinners better also came out in the public. That performance alone will hold him in good stead for tomorrow.

Pacers

Bhuvneshwar Kumar: Bhuvneshwar’s importance to India’s limited-overs set-up goes far beyond the number of wickets he takes. Yesterday, with his nagging line, he troubled the Kiwis to no end and never allowed them to open their arms. It was the kind of performance that lifts the morale of the team, which will be needed in abundance in the series decider.

Khaleel Ahmed: The Rajasthan pacer held his line perfectly and bowled a dream last over to restrict the Kiwis to 158. It was one of those days when he had a great day out, but that shouldn’t hide the fact that he has failed to deliver under pressure. Hamilton will give him a chance to better his performance.

Spinner

Kuldeep Yadav: Not because of Yuzvendra Chahal was underperforming, but for the sake of winning the first T20I series in the country. Kuldeep has always delivered whenever he has been given chances, and don’t be surprised if Rohit Sharma decides to field his trump card tomorrow.

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