New Zealand Vs. India Cricket Preview, Odds: 5th T20 International Sees India Go For Rare Away Whitewash

The 2020 T20 Cricket World Cup is now just over nine months away, and the two losing semifinalists from the 2016 edition will complete what looked like an evenly matched series, when they play the fifth T20 International on Sunday. The series has turned out to show that India and New Zealand have little to choose between them – except their results. Thanks to back-to-back tie-breaking super-over victories, the Men in Blue stand one win away from a rare whitewash in an away series.

In the fourth T20, played Friday in Wellington, the Black Caps entered the 18th over down by only 10 runs. But the India pace duo of Navdeep Saini and Shardul Thakur allowed just 10 runs in the final two overs, as CricBuzz reported, while New Zealand lost four wickets in the final over alone — including a pair of runouts.

As a result, the match ended deadlocked at 165, setting up a second consecutive super-over finish. But while the hosts failed to defend 17 in the third T20’s tie-breaking over, on Friday Tim Seifert and Colin Munro, who had each posted half-centuries in the regulation 20 overs, managed only 13. For the second straight game, Captain Kane Williamson picked Tim Southee to bowl the super-over, and for the second straight game, Southee could not hold on.

CricBuzz previews the fifth New Zealand vs. India T20 International in the video below.

The series concludes at Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui, Tauranga, the hometown of both Williamson and southpaw pacer Trent Boult. In five T20 games played there, New Zealand have lost only once. But there is at least some doubt whether the captain will be on the field for the series finale, given that his team is eliminated from the series already, as the skipper is reportedly suffering a sore shoulder, according to ESPN CricInfo.

But India captain, Virat Kohli, who pushed home the winning runs off Southee on Friday, may also choose to rest, with the opening of a three-match ODI series just three days away, followed by a pair of Test matches to close out the month of February.

India sit fifth in the world on the ICC T20 rankings, with New Zealand just one slot behind. But oddsmakers see the difference as somewhat greater. According to odds posted by BetFair, India enter the T20 series finale at decimal odds 1.73. In other words, a $100 wager would turn a profit of just $73 in the event of an India win.

New Zealand are the underdogs at 2.10 decimal odds, according to BetFair.

The match is scheduled to get underway at 8 p.m. Sunday evening in New Zealand, or 12:30 p.m. India Standard Time. In the United States, where the match will be streamed live by the ESPN+ sports subscription service, that start time will be 2 a.m. EST., 11 p.m. on Saturday night, PST.

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