New Zealand made amends in the second T20I to level the series. James Neesham was included in the playing XI and the all-rounder lent the perfect balance to the team. Mitchell Santner continued to pick wickets in the middle overs even as Ish Sodhi came to the party. With the series level at 1-1, the third T20I to be played at the Saxton Oval in Nelson on Tuesday becomes crucial.
England had a woeful day on the field with James Vince alone dropping as many as four catches which eventually cost them the game. They were spot on with the plans in the series opener and will have to maintain the same tempo to win against the Kiwis. The Tim Southee-led side, on the other hand, will feel confident after shrugging off the defeat and will be keen to continue the good work on the field.
Pitch and Conditions
Only a solitary Men’s T20I has been played at the Saxton Oval before. But the venue has hosted as many as 11 ODIs and is known to produce high scores. The grounds in New Zealand are generally small and this is no different to it. Expect a lot of sixes to be hit during the match. It will be cloudy in Nelson when the teams will take the field on Tuesday and it will stay the same with the temperatures hovering around 19-20 Degrees Celsius.
New Zealand are unlikely to change things around after levelling the series in the previous game. Martin Guptill found some much-needed form with the bat but his partner Colin Munro has continued to struggle. The hosts will desperately hope for the southpaw to get going in this game. Tim Seifert and Ross Taylor have been rock solid in the middle-order while Colin de Grandhomme needs to be a bit more consistent.
He is not bowling either nowadays in the T20Is and should make sure he scores runs batting at four. Neesham is an asset with the bat for the Kiwis but needs to improve his bowling big time. Daryl Mitchell will get more chances in order to prove his mettle. Southee, Ferguson, Santner and Sodhi are doing an excellent job with the ball.
Probable XI: Martin Guptill, Colin Munro, Tim Seifert (WK), Colin de Grandhomme, Ross Taylor, Daryl Mitchell, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee (C), Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson.
England‘s bowling attack apart from Chris Joran and Adil Rashid has been new to international cricket and they have been found wanting in the two matches so far. Tom Curran was surprisingly left out for the last match. Maybe they wanted to test Patrick Brown and Saqib Mahmood. But the duo leaked a lot of runs. While the latter might get another chance, Eoin Morgan might ponder playing two leg-spinners for this match.
In that case, Matt Parkinson is likely to make his international debut then. Tom Banton is also waiting in the wings but Dawid Malan had a decent outing in the second T20I. James Vince too should look to be consistent to cement his place in the line-up. Sam Billings also needs to bat responsibly being the vice-captain of the team.
Probable XI: Jonny Bairstow, Dawid Malan, James Vince, Eoin Morgan (C), Sam Billings (WK), Lewis Gregory, Sam Curran, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Saqib Mahmood, Patrick Brown/Matt Parkinson.
Probable Top Performers
Colin Munro– New Zealand | Chris Jordan – England
TV– Star Sports 1 Select, Star Sports 1 Select HD
Match Timings – 14:00 local time, 06:30 IST (01:00 AM GMT)
The prediction is for the team, batting second to win the match.
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