India’s stand-in skipper, Rohit Sharma has set his sight on the third and final T20 International of the three-match series, to be played at Seddon Park on Sunday. India defeated New Zealand by seven wickets in the second T20I on Friday to level the series.
Sharing a picture of himself from inside the team bus with the picturesque roads of Hamilton in the backdrop, Rohit Sharma said on Instagram: “Beautiful drive to Hamilton, look forward to one last game of what has been a grueling 3 months.”
Rohit scored 50 runs off 29 balls and shared a 79-run opening-wicket partnership with Shikhar Dhawan (30*) to give India a confident start in the chase at Eden Park. The former also became the leading run-scorer in the T20I cricket, surpassing New Zealand batsman Martin Guptill.
Following the match, Rohit promised that the decider match in Hamilton will be “a cracker of a game”. During the post-match presentation, he said, “It’s going to be a cracker of a game in the 3rd T20I, but nothing to take away from New Zealand, they’re still a quality side.”
The youngster Rishabh Pant smashed the winning boundary for India and remained unbeaten for 40 as India chased down the target in 18.5 overs. However, all-rounder Krunal Pandya was bestowed with the man-of-the-match award as he claimed three big wickets to restrict New Zealand to 158 for eight after they opted to bat.
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Krunal said he was happy to contribute for the team. After getting his award, he said, “It’s always special when you contribute to a win. The dimensions are quite different from Wellington, the straight boundaries were short and I had to adjust my length to it. Looking forward to the decider in two days’ time.”
Krunal later tweeted a picture of himself in action, saying: “Now we focus on Hamilton.”
— Krunal Pandya (@krunalpandya24) February 8, 2019
The Indian team hasn’t won a T20I series in New Zealand. In 2009, MS Dhoni-led Indian team was defeated 0-2 in the two-match series. On the other hand, Team India has never lost a three-match T20I series as well.