New Zealand vs India Match Preview (5th T20I), Mount Maunganui: Predicted 11, match prediction, live streaming, weather forecast, and pitch report
While India have played some excellent cricket in the series and thoroughly deserve to be 4-0 up, the series could so easily have been levelled at 2-2 if New Zealand were a bit more clinical in their chase in the last two games.
New Zealand put themselves in winning positions in both the games, but suddenly lost the plot at a time when it seemed a walk in the park for them.
The Blackcaps would be highly disappointed with the way the series has panned out so far because they have played better cricket than the scoreline reflects. They would be really keen to avoid the embarrassment of a whitewash on Sunday.
The New Zealand think tank need to introspect if they are picking the right options for themselves at the crucial moments of the game.
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Despite Tim Southee giving away 20 runs in the Super Over in Hamilton, he took the onus upon himself once again in the same situation in Wellington, and the Indian batsmen hit boundaries off him without too much difficulty to take the game away from New Zealand for the second time in a row.
There will be eyes on New Zealand’s team selection in the fifth T20I as the hosts would like to field their strongest XI to ensure they don’t let India achieve a 5-0 result. India, on the other hand, could look to hand opportunities to the youngsters and fringe players.
Date: February 2, 2020 (Sunday)
Time: 12:30 PM (IST)
Venue: Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui
The weather is going to be pleasant in Mount Maunganui. It will be slightly cloudy, but the humidity is not going to be very high, which means it won’t be energy-sapping for the players. The temperature will remain below 30 degree Celsius throughout the day and no rain has been forecasted either. The overhead conditions are expected to be ideal for the game.
The pitch at Bay Oval is going to be quick and will have some carry as well. The Indians won’t mind it as most of the modern day Indian batsmen are good players of pace and bounce.
The spinners might not get a lot out of this surface and will have to be disciplined with their lines to induce false strokes off the batsmen. Fielding first after winning the toss would be the right call as defending a total is difficult on this ground because of the short boundaries.
India: Rishabh Pant and Kuldeep Yadav are the two players who haven’t got an opportunity in the series so far and both of them are likely to feature in the playing XI in the fifth game. KL Rahul, who has been excellent with the bat in the series so far, might be rested and replaced by Pant, while Kuldeep might come in as a like-for-like replacement for Yuzvendra Chahal.
India might want to give Jasprit Bumrah a bit of a break as well and replace him with Mohammed Shami, who was rested for the fourth T20I. Rohit Sharma, who was also rested for the fourth game, might return in the starting XI for Shreyas Iyer.
Predicted XI: Rohit Sharma, Sanju Samson, Virat Kohli (C), Rishabh Pant (WK), Shivam Dube, Manish Pandey, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Navdeep Saini
New Zealand: There hasn’t been any official word from the New Zealand camp if Kane Williamson will be fit to lead the side at Bay Oval. If he is fit, he will come in for Tom Bruce, who couldn’t make the most of his opportunity with the bat in Wellington.
If Williamson plays, it also means the New Zealand vice-captain Tim Southee might be left out for the young and lanky seamer, Blair Tickner.
New Zealand just don’t seem to be able to find a way to win at the moment, while India are coming back from the toughest of the situations to emerge victorious. It’s hard to see a way-out for New Zealand in the current scenario. The prediction is for India to win the game and complete a 5-0 whitewash.
TV: Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD, Star Sports 3
Published 01 Feb 2020, 13:07 IST