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New Zealand fought back hard to play party spoilers to Virat Kohli's birthday celebrations on the eve before the big day. Colin Munro, who blasted six after six on his way to a century, will definitely come under the radar of major IPL franchise owners. His part time medium pace bowling is a good add on to his repertoire, which was on display when he bowled a knuckle ball to dismiss Shreyas Iyer. Yes, I'm also confident that our think-tank will pursue him come the IPL auctions in February!
Adam Milne, who was brought back for the game at Rajkot, bowled a fine opening spell where he gave absolutely nothing away to pile further pressure on the hosts. He's progressed beyond being just a tearaway pace bowler to someone who's sticking to a plan. Virat Kohli fought hard, played some exquisite shots but waged a lone battle as India unsuccessfully chased 197. He went on to overtake Dilshan and up to 2nd place on the all-time T20I leading run getters. While Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar brought the score back to some respectability with their discipline, Yuzvendra Chahal did his tag of India's leading wicket taker in T20Is in 2017, no harm at all when he got rid of Martin Guptill once again.The RCB boys will look at another positive match.
Coming to the game at hand, the Greenfield International Stadium will become the 50th venue in India to stage an International game. Pictures of the ground suggest lush green outfields and a beautiful backdrop. The 42000 capacity multipurpose stadium is a sell out and is expected to be a batting belter, with an average of 64m boundaries on either side would suggest another see ball-hit ball type of scenario. "It's going to be a good batting wicket with a quick outfield. I would say it is a 'win toss, bat first' wicket," curator Jayesh George says about the pitch.
But much like the T20I series decider at Hyderabad when the opponents were Australia, the rain threat looms large as it has been raining over the past couple of days and is in forecast on the day of the match. The curator says that the ground staff was prepared for any rain interruptions and that the drainage facility present is top draw. But if we're to go by the weather predictions, a truncated match is definitely on the cards. Unlike the match at Hyderabad which was called off without a ball being bowled, we'd take a shortened game which yields a result. At least the teams get an opportunity to #PlayBold. The ideal scenario is if the rain completely steers clear of the action.
With no reserve day to contend with, let's hope and pray that rain doesn't play a dampener once more in a T20I decider. Especially because if he gets to 57 on Tuesday, he will also get to 2000 T20I runs! One achievement after another :)
Catch all the action as the two teams battle it out for the T20I trophy on Tuesday, 7th November, 7 PM onwards from Thiruvananthapuram.