Rohit Sharma has had a perfect start to life after becoming the T20 Captain of the Indian team. He would love to get a perfect score in his first series too, but for sure it will test his reserve players. India will play against New Zealand on Sunday in Eden Gardens, Kolkata.
New Zealand are having a hectic schedule after the semi-finals of the World Cup as they have to play five T20 matches in two weeks. To them, a whitewash will not be so important as they are not with their regular captain and are going under harsh scheduling.
India have already won the series. They had near-perfect run chases in both of their previous matches. In the final T20 match of the series, Rohit will like to make it three out of three. But for sure the bench strength of the team will be tested in Kolkata.
Full-time Captain: Rohit
It is Rohit’s first series as a full-time T20 captain. Till now things have gone well for him as he has won both the tosses and his bowlers have restricted the Kiwis quite well. He is also contributing with the bat and giving the team great starts.
Things have been perfect for Rohit so far. He would love to clean sweep the Kiwis before taking his break from the international duties. Kolkata or ‘the city of joy’ has always been close to Rohit because it is the place where he played the mammoth innings of 264 runs.
It is the first series for the new coach Rahul Dravid. With the team performing so well it will help him settle down. After this, the Men in Blues will play New Zealand in two test matches. It will for sure be of great importance because they will be facing the winners of the World Test Championship.
As the series is already in the pocket, Rohit and Rahul for sure will make some changes to playing XI. Rohit may try Venkatesh Iyer as a bowler as well in this match if needs to test his skills. The likes of Ruturaj Gaikward, Avesh Khan, Ishan Kishan will hope to get a chance in this match.
Changes that can take place
Ruturaj was the Orange Cap holder of the recently held IPL. But to fit him in the squad, either Rohit or KL will have to sit out. KL is looking to be the one who might sit out as KL is going to play in the upcoming tests as well. Thus, it might be a smart decision if he is given a rest for this match.
Meanwhile, Avesh Khan who was second on the list of bowlers to get the most wickets in IPL last season can also be given a chance. Either Bhuvneshwar or Chahar will sit out if Avesh is going to play. Similarly, Ishan Kishan can be played in place of Rishabh Pant, who has been continuously playing.
The most positive thing about the series for India has been the form of R Ashwin. The veteran spinner has been in excellent form. He is in contention for the ‘Player of the series award’. As in both the matches, he bowled exceptionally with figures of 2 for 23 and 1 for 19.
Meanwhile, Harshal Patel made his debut in the last match. It looked like he started from the place where he left in the IPL. He produced a ‘Player of the Match’ performance on his debut itself.
Eden is going to be batting heaven for sure, and the team batting second will be the favourite to win the battle.
India: Rohit Sharma (Captain), KL Rahul (VC), Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (WK), Shreyas Iyer, Venkatesh Iyer, Ravichandran Ashwin, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Deepak Chahar, Avesh Khan, Mohd Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan.
New Zealand: Tim Southee (Captain), Todd Astle, Trent Boult, Mark Chapman, Lockie Ferguson, Martin Guptill, Adam Milne, Daryl Mitchell, Jimmy Neesham, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert and Ish Sodhi.
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