New Zealand played some domineering cricket to come back into the series after succumbing to a huge defeat in the opening game and stand at a point, where the last game decides the series. Virat Kohli might have to tweak his side a little to strengthen the batting lineup in the last game.
A six-bowler approach couldn’t have gone any worse for team India as it did in Rajkot. After the bowlers could hardly get any purchase and the batsmen failed to chip in, the team management will be wary of risking that combination again.
However, the scattered thunderstorms in Thiruvananthapuram should make it easier for team India to make a decision. With the possibility of D/L coming into play, Ravi Shastri is likely to opt for more batsmen in his side.
Here is the predicted XI for India-
Shikhar Dhawan- The left-hander has been maddeningly inconsistent in T20s of late and the Rajkot T20I was a clear example of it. While he is at his best when he plays his natural game, Kohli would hope his openers to be more responsible in approach.
Rohit Sharma- It is painful to watch Rohit Sharma getting dismissed so cheaply when a bit of time on the crease almost always gets him a huge knock. After a good first T20I, he was undone by Trent Boult very early last time. We hope he has rectified his stance.
Virat Kohli- If you are as good as your last game, then the skipper remains the best player in the Indian team at the moment. He was spot on, clinical, and with a little support from Dhoni could have taken India to the promised land. He would hope for a good start from his openers today.
Shreyas Iyer- This man has really caught attention with his free-flowing stroke play. Though he needs to check his temperament, his batting prowess could come in really handy for India.
Dinesh Kartik- A responsible and classy batsman, who can control the tempo of the game as and when needed, Dinesh Karthik should be included to the side for the decider. The varieties of shots in his arsenal will be a huge boost to India’s fragile batting order.
MS Dhoni- The wicketkeeper-batsman has come under huge criticism for his slovenly batting last game and many pundits have even raised concerns over his position
Hardik Pandya- More than anyone, Kohli would have missed his contribution with the bat last game. He fell to a brilliant googly by Sodhi and his shock after it was evident on his face. He will have a lot to prove today and we hope he does.
Axar Patel- Patel has been a risky option for Virat Kohli. But, with Mitchell Santner playing such a significant role in New Zealand’s success, Kohli is right to keep faith in his finger spinner, although he needs to smoothen some rough edges. Patel can be really handy with the bat as well.
Yuzvendra Chahal- Selectors are likely to prefer Chahal over Kuldeep Yadav. The wrist spinner, although not effective, kept his economy under 10 in the last game. Kohli would hope things to go India’s way this time with some quick wickets in between and Chahal will be his go-to bowler then.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar- To win, India will have to stop the mayhem of Colin Munro and Martin Guptill and Kohli’s spearheading options will need to be sharp to execute that. Bhuvi has returned with a lot of variations in his ball, especially the knuckleball. He will hope to get back to winning ways.
Jasprit Bumrah- He has done enough to knock on the door of the selectors for South African Test series. No matter the condition, Bumrah has remained clinical as ever. He was the only bowler to keep his economy rate under six last game.
Chahal or Axar? Who will take more wickets for India?
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