10Cric IPL

India-New Zealand fight it out in the series decider at Thiruvananthapuram

It’s been three decades since the last international match was played at Thiruvananthapuram, Ravi Shastri happened to be the captain of that Indian side. When international cricket returns to the capital city of the south Indian state of Kerala, it will find Ravi Shastri as the coach and then unheard of, even unborn, Virat Kohli as the captain. The duo though will have a lot of things to work out in the series decider at the Greenfield Stadium, which is set to become the 50th International Venue at India.

New Zealand haven’t won a proper series, in any format, on Indian shores, on Tuesday though, they have got yet another opportunity to change that and break the jinx and if they continue to play the way played in Rajkot, there is no stopping them. Trent Boult proved yet again why he is one of the best left arm seamers around, picking up the big wickets of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan in one over and denting the Indian chase, a loss from which India never really recovered and except a fine show from skipper Virat, India were never really into the game in the second innings.

 e157698802cc45b0aac13d85f1470dbe e157698802cc45b0aac13d85f1470dbe 396e5af25e051e3dcb0f6a70670041ceThe spotlight will then be on MS Dhoni who faced heavy criticism for not playing freely enough while chasing a big total of 197, Dhoni was not able to play shots right from the word go which was the requirement at that time. India will hope that Dhoni answers his critics with his performance on field. It would also be interesting to see whether India still go with their 6-bowler policy including Hardik Pandya, especially when Mohammed Siraj looked ineffective, leaving aside the wicket of Kane Williamson.

As far as New Zealand is concerned, Colin de Grandhomme as an option might be seriously discussed since he hasn’t performed as per his reputation, but from what it appears, the team management may not be interested in changing the team composition, particularly in a series decider. New Zealand would love a healthy contribution from their top order other than Colin Munro who has been good on this tour.

A lot might still depend on the weather. There is a great possibility of a rain and Duckworth-Lewis method might very well come into the picture. The exhausting heat and humidity of Kerala might be another factor that the teams will have on the back of their mind. On a brand new surface and with the possibility of a rain, team winning the toss might look to bowl first.

Play starts at 7 pm (IST)

Live from the Greenfield International Stadium, Thiruvananthapuram


India: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma, Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shikhar Dhawan, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Shreyas Iyer, Dinesh Karthik, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Siraj, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel, KL Rahul.

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (c), Trent Boult, Tom Bruce, Colin de Grandhomme, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Henry Nicholls, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Glenn Phillips, Mitchell Santner, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor.