IND vs NZ 2022-23, 3rd T20I: Malik returns to replace Chahal as India surprisingly opts to bat
IND vs NZ 2022-23: India and New Zealand are locking horns in the final Ahmedabad T20I on Wednesday. The Men in Blue won the toss and surprisingly opted to bat first, while Umran Malik replaced Yuzvendra Chahal.
Team India is willing to test itself in every possible way as a part of its preparations for the 2023 ICC World Cup and the 2024 ICC T20 World Cup. On Wednesday, as it takes on New Zealand in the third and final Twenty20 International (T20I), the hosts would be desperate to set an example, come up with a substantial performance and win the series in the decider. However, it sprang a surprise during the coin toss when it opted to bat first on a predictably bat-second surface. In the meantime, it also made a change by bringing in pacer Umran Malik for established T20 leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal.
After winning the toss, Indian skipper Hardik Pandya communicated, "We're going to bat first. We want to put in some runs and take the game from there. It looks like a terrific wicket. We played in the IPL [Indian Premier League 2022] Final here, where the ball did a bit more in the second innings."
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"Tough on the batters in the last two games, but credit them for their approach. It is what, as a unit, we strive for. We are going to get tested, but we will learn from it. These kinds of knockout games teach you a lot. One change - Umran comes in for Yuzi because this surface looks like it will help the fast bowlers," added Pandya.
Meanwhile, NZ captain Mitchell Santner articulated, "We were going to bowl first. It looks like a good surface either way. Lucknow was a challenging surface. About 120 would have done the trick. But we have to adapt. It's a great experience to play here. It is my first time here."
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"Doesn't get any bigger than this with the series on the line. Both surfaces were very different, but today, we need the boys to adapt to the more extensive boundaries. It should be a good challenge. One change for us - Ben Lister is in for Jacob Duffy," concluded Santner.
IND: Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan(w), Rahul Tripathi, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya(c), Deepak Hooda, Washington Sundar, Shivam Mavi, Kuldeep Yadav, Umran Malik and Arshdeep Singh.
NZ: Finn Allen, Devon Conway(w), Mark Chapman, Glenn Phillips, Daryl Mitchell, Michael Bracewell, Mitchell Santner(c), Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson, Ben Lister and Blair Tickner.