Rohit Sharma led India's charge in the second T20I in Auckland and now the series stands locked 1-1 as the teams brace for the final showdown. The Indian team ticked all the boxes at Eden Park and it started with the bowling performance.
Krunal Pandya, whose place was in contention before the match, returned with figures of 4 for 28 in his quota of overs, which was a man of the match award-clinching performance. With this award, he also became only the second player to win two man of the match awards in Australia and New Zealand combined. Another sparkling performance and Krunal could have a record to his name.
The Rohit factor in T20Is
The chase was all about captain Rohit Sharma taking charge of the innings. He blazed away to a 50, in the process becoming the leading run-scorer in T20Is. He also entered the club of batsmen to have hit more than 100 sixes in this format. He now needs only a couple of maximums to breeze past Chris Gayle and Martin Guptill to own this record.
Rohit has dominated this format and has 20 fifty plus scores in T20Is (4 tons and 16 fifties), which is the most by any batsman. Shikhar Dhawan gave him good company at the top of the order and the duo now needs to score more than 50 just once to become the most-prolific opening combination. They will move past Martin Guptill-Kane Williamson and Shane Watson-David Warner as the combination with most 50+ stands.
The previous T20 match in Hamilton produced 386 runs between New Zealand and England and the conditions will be pretty much the same. The pitch will be flat and the boundary dimensions pretty tantalising, which will make this another high run-scoring fest.
"It's important to understand the mistakes that we made [In Wellington]; it's been a long tour for everyone. So we didn't want to put a lot of pressure on the boys, just go in there with a clear mind. It's going to be a cracker of a game in Hamilton," captain Rohit Sharma said.
India was bundled out for 92 in the ODIs, but the conditions could be different which evens out the playing field.
"We have played in Hamilton and there won't be any surprise element as far as the pitch is concerned. Also having won the second game gives us confidence going into the final match," left-arm speedster Khaleel Ahmed had said after series-levelling second T20I, when asked about the Hamilton game.