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Posted at: Feb 10, 2019, 7:23 AM; last updated: Feb 10, 2019, 7:23 AM (IST)

Trophy hunting night

Confident India eye first T20I series victory in New Zealand
Trophy hunting night
Yuzvendra Chahal has had an ordinary series so far but he could still prove crucial in the middle overs. file

Hamilton, February 9

In a season of many firsts for the team, Rohit Sharma’s men will be aiming to become first Indian team to win a T20I series in New Zealand when the two sides clash in the third and final match here tomorrow.

The past three months have made for a memorable phase for the Indian cricket team, which won its first Test and bilateral ODI series in Australia followed by India’s biggest (4-1) ODI series win in New Zealand.

A first T20I series victory in New Zealand will be the icing on the cake for the Men in Blue, who have far exceeded expectations during their three-month sojourn in this part of the world.

With the series locked at 1-1, there is everything to play for in the decider, which promises to be a cracker of a contest, with a spicy Seddon Park pitch in the offing. India will do well to remember the nightmare they endured here in the fourth ODI on January 31, when they were shot out for 92 as Trent Boult picked up 5/21 with some quality swing bowling.

“Having won the second game gives us confidence going into the final match,” left-arm speedster Khaleel Ahmed had said after the series-levelling second T20I. “We have rectified some of our mistakes from the first game, and hopefully, a few which are there will also be corrected.”

India played the same XI in the first two games, and in all likelihood will not change the team unless there are some injury concerns. In case the team management goes for a change, Kuldeep Yadav could come in place of Yuzvendra Chahal as the wrist-spinner. The Indian bowlers will look to replicate their good show from the last match, in which they found their rhythm after being blasted by Tim Seifert in the first T20I.

New Zealand would be looking for a better batting effort in the middle overs. Skipper Kane Williamson has had a modest series by his standards and senior batsman Ross Taylor has also blown hot and cold during the last three weeks. Among the bowlers, Tim Southee was impressive in the first game and pretty ordinary in the second (0/34 in 4 overs), while his new-ball partner Scott Kuggeleijn bled 32 runs in 3.5 overs. — PTI

102 Sixes hit by Rohit Sharma in T20Is. Chris Gayle (103) and Martin Guptill (103) lead the chart

1 India have won only one of their four T20Is played in New Zealand

India have never lost a 3-match T20I series

6 New Zealand have won six of their eight T20Is on this ground

212 India suffered their biggest ODI defeat (in terms of number of balls remaining: 212 balls) in the fourth ODI in Hamilton 

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