Siraj handed debut as New Zealand bat first

Manish Pandey Kuldeep Yadav

New Zealand captain Kane Williamson looked pleased with their series-equalling victory. However, New Zealand have the ability to bounce back and they will take the cue from the fact that their head-to-head record against India still reads impressive at 5-1.

India's chase began with a disastrous start as it openers returned to dug-out at the end of the second over, with 11 on the board. "It's about watching the ball, stay still and try and hit every ball for four or six", Munro said.

Munro teamed with Martin Guptill at the top of the order, enjoying a 105-run partnership to start the innings, before Guptill fell for 45 in the 12th over.

Opening the bowling for India along with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Siraj's very first over in worldwide cricket saw him concede 10 runs, including two boundaries. He becomes just the fourth player to hit two T20I 100s. Ashish Nehra obviously not part of the side now, Mohammad Siraj comes in.

Under the supervision of BCCI curator Vishvajitsinh Padhiar, a lot of activity happened around the pitch on the eve before the match at the Saurashtra Cricket Ground.

The key men for India, in terms of bowlers, will be the spin duo of Axar Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal, who picked up two wickets each in the last match, whereas the trio of Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Hardik Pandya are also expected to retain their spot in the playing XI.


He reminded us why he is the Black Caps' greatest threat with the ball when he removed Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma in his very first over.

The Hyderabad-born pacer ultimately did get his maiden global wicket in the form of Williamson but ultimately finished with figures of 1-53 off his four overs.

New Zealand opener Colin Munro, who nearly swung the decisive third and final ODI against India in Kanpur for his team, hammered a hundred in just 54 balls that included six fours and seven sixes in Rajkot on Saturday.

"We didn't take our chances, yes, but at one stage they were looking to get 235-240 and credit to [Jasprit] Bumrah and Bhuvi [Bhuvneshwar Kumar] to pull things back". Virat soon got to his 18th fifty in T20i's but the scoreboard pressure got the better off him as he got on 65 runs off 42 balls.

Overall, 75 runs were collected from the seven overs bowled between the pair, in stark contrast to the Kiwi spinners who bowled with much more control and potency.

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