The hosts' fate might rest on how quickly and effectively they can nullify the threat from the format's top-ranked batter

The hosts' fate might rest on how quickly and effectively they can nullify the threat from the format's top-ranked batter © AFP

"I also get amazed seeing the strokes when I go back to my room. Even I get surprised after seeing those shots," Suryakumar Yadav quipped. It was tongue-in-cheek after he'd hammered the home side with 11 fours and 7 sixes - each shot more audacious than the other - in a 51-ball 111* in the second T20I. New Zealand came up against the reigning No.1 batter in the format and faced the full force of it, ending the evening in Mount Maunganui begrudgingly doffing their hats to him.

So how do New Zealand halt the SKY juggernaut? He seems to favour the fine leg boundary and can ramp you on a whim, but pack the leg side field and he can still go inside out to clear the extra cover boundary. He strikes at over 150 against both pace and spin, and doesn't seem to have a visible flaw in his game. New Zealand are likely to spend the 48 hours leading up to the Napier fixture trying to find anything resembling a chink in Suryakumar's armour.

India can have very little to complain about a game where they had a scintillating century on their side, a part-time spinner with his best bowling figures and a massive 65-runs to stamp their lead in the series. Yet, Rishabh Pant's struggle at the top of the order will come as a bit of an annoyance, one where they'd seek improvement. India have never played a T20I at McLean Park but Pant should be chuffed to know that batters have traditionally enjoyed playing at this venue.

When: New Zealand vs India, 3rd T20I, 07.30 PM Local Time, 12:00 PM IST

Where: McLean Park, Napier

What to expect: Cloudy evening, without the threat of rain. Another high-scoring affair on one of the better batting surfaces in the country.

Team news:

New Zealand: Kane Williamson misses this game due to a 'pre-arranged medical appointment'. Mark Chapman has been called up to the squad and is likely to replace the skipper in the XI.

Probable XI: Finn Allen, Devon Conway, Glenn Phillips, Daryl Mitchell, Mark Chapman/Michael Bracewell, James Neesham, Mitchell Santner, Tim Southee, Adam Milne, Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson

India: For all of the focus on Suryakumar Yadav, India could yet throw New Zealand a curveball by giving him a rest and playing Sanju Samson in the last game of the series.

With very little context to the format currently and an unassailable lead in tow, India could also look to give the young and strapping Umran Malik an opportunity in place of one of Arshdeep Singh and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who featured all through the T20 World Cup.

Probable XI: Rishabh Pant, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav/Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer, Hardik Pandya, Deepak Hooda, Washington Sundar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Arshdeep Singh/Umran Malik, Mohammad Siraj

Did you know:

- Suryakumar Yadav is only the second India batter to score two T20I centuries in a calendar year - after Rohit Sharma did it in 2018

- Ish Sodhi has picked 21 wickets against India - the joint-most in the format with England's Chris Jordan.

What they said:

"He's a player that can hit you and hurt you in a number of areas. He's had a great 12 to 18 months, in the IPL and international cricket. We came up against a pretty impressive knock. The guys will go away and we've got 48 hours to reassess and come up with something for Napier." - Tim Southeeon the SKY phenomenon

"Secret (behind his audacious ramp shots) is about the intent, and you need to enjoy yourself. It's also about the work you do in the practice sessions. I feel that I didn't think too much about what was happening. Just had my gameplan and it worked well." - Suryakumar Yadavoversimplifies his jaw-dropping batting effort in Mount Maunganui.