It’s taken more than three years for international cricket to come to Kerala, and it comes in the form of cricket’s shortest format – moving the base from Kochi to Thiruvananthapuram. Green Fields, which is set to host the encounter, is set to become the 50th international venue in the country.
After a stunning 40-run win, the Kiwis are all set to uphold their dignity of being the no.1 team in the shortest format of the game. They will take on the Men in Blue in the deciding match of the 3- match series on November 7, Tuesday.
The hosts will be more than eager to come back to their winning ways. The major reason for India’s defeat was the collapse of their batting order. Rohit and Shikhar after the record partnership of 158-runs in the first T-20 match failed to give a solid start while chasing the huge target of 196-runs in second T-20. The middle order of India is very much dependent on the top order as it collapses when the openers fail to give the start. So host captain will be seeking for a solid middle order for upcoming tours. The pacers Bhuvi and Bumrah have been quite impressing this domestic season and even in this match, all eyes will be on them hoping for a tremendous tour end for India.
Spinners are playing a crucial role in the series. In the first match, the stunning performances of Chahal and Axar devastated Kiwi batting order and in the second T-20, the performances of Santner and Sodhi came handy for Black Caps in the series-levelling win.
The Indian experiment to shift Pandya’s position to one down is not looking quite worth as he has failed to impress the audience. So he will be looking for a nice performance to end the tour and to lead India an easy win over the guests.
For Black Caps, the openers Guptill and Munro are in good form as they manage a fabulous opening stand of 105-runs to set a winning total of 196-runs. They will be looking for another full-nourished performance for New Zealand to end the tour with a series win. The hosts should also be aware of one of the legendary batsman Kane Williamson, Kiwi captain who can change his gears in any match as he has been quiet in the whole series. The main focus of the NZ fans will be on the pacer twins Boult and Southee who has been quite impressive in a couple of games. Boult is in tremendous form as he devastated Indian top order in 2nd T-20 by figures 4/34.
Both the teams decided to take rest on the eve of the match and will have a practice session only just before the match. Given that it’s a new ground where none of the players have earlier played, and the complexities of the weather, the playing conditions will remain a surprise. As a result, both the sides will finalize on the playing XI only a few hours prior to the start of the match.
As far as the Kiwis team is considered, the playing eleven seems to be same after the easy win in second T-20.The pitch has assisted spinners in the recent past and that might prompt New Zealand to bring Tom Latham back into the side in place of Phillips or Tom Bruce.
The Men in Blue will not like to tinker the combination because of little familiarity with the playing condition. Hence the playing eleven will be decided before 2-3 hours of gameplay.