India targets rare T20 series whitewash against New Zealand

New Zealand has never lost all games in a bilateral T20I series (three or more matches) at home but an in-form India led by Virat Kohli could change the script.

New Zealand was once again at the receiving end of Super Over heartbreak at Wellington.   -  GETTY IMAGES

India will eye a rare 5-0 whitewash against New Zealand in the final T20 International in Mount Maunganui on Sunday.

New Zealand has never lost all games in a bilateral T20I series (three or more matches) at home. While this puts India in a unique position going ahead, it will still stay fifth in the ICC T20I rankings behind Pakistan, Australia, England and South Africa.

With the T20 World Cup now eight months away, mild experimentation has begun. The fourth T20I was a step in that direction with Sanju Samson, Washington Sundar and Navdeep Saini getting a look in. Samson has been promoted up the order in his limited opportunities against both Sri Lanka and New Zealand, and has been dismissed while attacking the bowling.

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Meanwhile, Manish Pandey who played a part in India's march to a 4-0 lead in the five-match T20I series, has been used at Nos 5 and 6 ahead of Rishabh Pant, who hasn't played since suffering concussion in the first ODI against Australia in Mumbai.

Rohit Sharma, who was rested in Wellington, is likely to lead in the final game with Kohli In the bowling department, Jasprit Bumrah could be rested with Mohammed Shami returning to lead the pace battery.

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Finishing woes

Kane Williamson is expected to return for the final clash, after missing out in Wellington due to a left shoulder niggle.

However, New Zealand will hope to put an end to its finishing woes, having lost in two consecutive Super Overs against India in the space of just three days this week. Williamson and Co. have featured in four Super Overs in 2019 including the World Cup final in England, and has ended up on the losing side on each occassion.


India: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul (wk), Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Navdeep Saini, Washington Sundar.

New Zealand: Kane Williamson (capt), Martin Guptill, Ross Taylor, Scott Kuggeleijn, Colin Munro, Tom Bruce, Daryl Mitchell, Mitchell Santner, Tim Seifert (wk), Hamish Bennett, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Blair Tickner.

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