Ahmedabad ground will be the focus of India vs. New Zealand as Mitchell Santner's squad seeks a rare triumph in the series finale

Ahmedabad ground will be the focus of India vs. New Zealand as Mitchell Santner's squad seeks a rare triumph in the series finale

On Wednesday, 1 February, in Ahmedabad, the last Twenty20 International of the three-match series will pit India against New Zealand. Due to the dispute surrounding the pitch in the first two games, an unimportant series in the framework of the 2023 cricket season has sprung to life.

The spin spinners, who have wrecked havoc on the batsmen of both sides, have benefited from the worn-out surfaces of Ranchi and then Lucknow. So much so that New Zealand could only muster 99 runs in the second Twenty20 international of the series, which India won after 19.5 overs thanks to a cool-headed knock from Suryakumar Yadav.

Captain Hardik Pandya, who is being considered as Rohit Sharma's long-term successor, at least in the T20I format of the game, must have been bothered by the first surprise. That surprise quickly turned into shock after only two games, which led to the pitch curator of Lucknow's Ekana stadium being fired.

Past the Pitch

Beyond the field, New Zealand has played without complaint throughout the series and has amazingly recovered from a crushing defeat in the ODI leg. In the first two games of the series, the side had played shrewd cricket under Mitchell Santner and made an effort to bite down as hard as they could. Both captains will be hoping for at least one game in the series when the bat and ball competition is a bit more equal going into Ahmedabad.

Discussion Points

After lighting the doors on fire, Prithvi Shaw was returned to the Indian squad. However, it has not resulted in him being given a spot in the starting XI, and one can only question, if not now, when?

Shubman Gill, Rahul Tripathi, or Ishan Kishan must be removed if Shaw is to be included. India will need to consider a retaining option in the event that Ishan Kishan is released, and Jitesh Sharma is one that they have.

The challenge for New Zealand will be finding methods to score runs that cannot be restricted to only 99, regardless of how awful the wicket may be.

Unusual Series Win

Under Ross Taylor's leadership, New Zealand only managed to win one T20I series in India back in 2012. Without a doubt, Mitchell Santner is aware of how uncommon it is to overcome India in that country.

On Wednesday, the youthful New Zealand team will attempt to gather their strength and attempt to defeat the hosts, just as the latter team did a few months ago when being captained by Hardik Pandya.