India’s young top order will be under pressure as they head into the series-deciding third T20 international against New Zealand in Ahmedabad on Wednesday. With Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli and K L Rahul out of action, it is up to the trio of Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan and Rahul Tripathi to prove themselves and make their opportunities count.
The second game in Lucknow saw India eke out a six-wicket win with only one ball to spare, although they were only chasing 100 runs to win. It also witnessed an unwanted record as both sides failed to hit even a single six throughout the game.
India has so far enjoyed a dominant run in the home season, winning both the ODI and T20I series against Sri Lanka followed by the ODI series win against New Zealand. They will now be looking to sign off with a T20I series win over the Kiwis and make a statement before the focus shifts to the five-day format.
Head coach Rahul Dravid and captain Hardik Pandya will have a difficult decision to make regarding the inclusion of Prithvi Shaw in the playing XI. Fans and both sides will be hoping for a much better track in the third ODI at the Narendra Modi Stadium, which has traditionally seen plenty of runs from the bat.
It remains to be seen if India can cap off their home season with yet another series win. With the World Cup just 10 months away, it is important for India to make a mark in the T20I format and build confidence before the focus shifts to the five-day format.