One over, one magical spell or a good day with the bat could just be enough to change fortunes of a particular team in T20s. The T20 series between India and New Zealand has been a similar affair so far as a few players with their impressive cameos have lifted the spirits of their team. In the first T20 encounter at the Feroz Shah Kotla in New Delhi, it was the opening pair of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma who posted 80 runs each to help India assemble a huge 202/3 on board in 20 overs. Later, the Indian bowlers restricted the Kiwis on 149/8 in 20 overs to earn India a thumping victory of 53 runs.
In the second T20I, New Zealand came on top of their game and floored India with a convincing 40 runs victory. Colin Munro and Martin Guptill started off in style attacking every Indian bowler. Munro (109) and Guptill (45) led the Kiwis to a big total on board. India were expected to reach near the target as the Rajkot surface had something to offer for the batsmen, glimpses of which were seen in the 1st innings but a magical spell of 4 overs by Trent Boult just took the game away from India. Boult picked up the wickets of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, MS Dhoni and Axar Patel. India failed to get over the mark and were handed a defeat by 40 runs.
Both India and New Zealand will lock horns for the last time in the series with 40 overs in hand to decide the T20 series winner. Both the teams have had their positives and negatives from the two matches; they have also got their new limited over match winners and players who can be of threat to the opposition. Here are the top 5 players who can turn-around the 3rd T20I match in their respective teams’ favour with their performances.
1) Colin Munro: The impressive stints in this series started for Munro in the series-deciding 3rd ODI at the Green Park Stadium in Kanpur when he played a sensible knock of 75(62) and stayed in the middle with Kane Williamson to take the game away from India. Munro was as it again in the 2nd T20I when he plundered 109 (58) and combined with Guptill to take New Zealand off to a flyer. His heavy contribution with the bat ensured a victory for the Kiwis in the must-win encounter. Munro in the 3rd and final encounter will be a crucial player for New Zealand as he can turn-around the game with his bat.
2) Virat Kohli: The firing Indian skipper has been in form of his life recently. He finished the ODI series as the top run scorer in the ODI series and stands at the 2nd spot behind Munro in the run charts of the T20 series. Kohli added 26 runs in 11 balls in the 1st T20I to get India past the 200 run mark. In the 2nd T20I, he scored 65(59) but failed to get India past the target. The Indian captain will be rearing to lead the Indian attack and register India’s historic first series win against New Zealand in T20s.
3) Martin Guptill: After a series of abysmal displays in the ODIs, Martin Guptill regained his form in the second T20I and played a superb knock of 45 runs to set the platform for a big total for New Zealand. Guptill’s T20 pedigree gives him an edge over all the other prominent Kiwi batsmen. Guptill can be of wary threat to the Indian bowlers and if manages to stay in the middle for long he can create a huge impact for New Zealand with his bat.
4) Mahendra Singh Dhoni: MS Dhoni has come under criticism from various cricket commentators and so-called analyst who believe that Dhoni should now call it quits and give someone else a chance in the team. Dhoni has always and will continue to answer the critiques with his bat, the ever-calm cricketer will be under the spotlight when he comes out to bat in the third T20I. Classic MS Dhoni will let his bat do the talking in Thiruvananthapuram.
5) Trent Boult: The Kiwi pacer ran havoc at the Indian top order in the 2nd T20I at the Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Rajkot. He claimed 4 scalps and finished the game as New Zealand’s best bowler. Boult was effective with the ball in the ODI series but was abysmal in the 1st T20I, however, he made a strong comeback in the 2nd game troubling the Indian batsmen regularly. If New Zealand have to win the third and final T20, Trend Boult will be the man Kane Williamson will place his bet on.