Indian opener KL Rahul was rested for the third T20I against New Zealand, skipper, Rohit Sharma, confirmed at the toss. Mumbai Indians (MI) opener, Ishan Kishan, will replace Rahul and partner Rohit at the top of the order.
The change was done on the back of a series-winning game at the JSCA Stadium in Ranchi on Friday. With the third game being inconsequential to the outcome of the series, the management decided to give Kishan a shot at the top of the order.
“KL [Rahul] and Ashwin are rested. Ishan and Chahal come in. We are very clear as to what we want to do that’s why Ishan has to wait for his opportunity. Chahal as well – he has been a champion bowler for us,” Rohit said at the toss.
Kishan played a solitary game in the recently concluded T20 World Cup and it was the Super 12 stage match against New Zealand. He failed to impress in that match but he has been given another opportunity ahead of Ruturaj Gaikwad.
Another change made in the playing XI was the return of Yuzvendra Chahal in the shortest format. He will be replacing Ravichandran Ashwin, who was brilliant in the first two T20Is and has been rested with an eye on the upcoming 2-match Test series.
India won the toss for the third time in a row and Rohit decided to bat first in order to pose a challenge to his team. “We are going to bat first. Pitch looks a little sticky and we want to challenge ourselves as a batting unit. We gotta try various things and this is one of them. We want to put runs on the board and give the new set of bowlers a target to be tested,” Rohit said.
India’s playing for third T20I against New Zealand:
Rohit Sharma (c), Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Venkatesh Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Deepak Chahar, Harshal Patel.