The Windies won the Wisden trophy despite a massive defeat in the final of a three-Test series against England. India is next and cricket analyst Fazeer Mohammed believes they may be a bridge too far.

Rohit Sharma blasted a brutal half-century after Krunal Pandya starred with the ball as India beat New Zealand by seven wickets at Eden Park to set up a Twenty20 series decider.

The tourists were hammered by 80 runs in the first match of the series in Wellington but responded impressively in Auckland on Friday.

Pandya (3-28) struck three times in quick succession to reduce the Black Caps to 50-4, but Colin de Grandhomme (50 off 28 balls) and Ross Taylor got Kane Williamson's side up to 158-8.

That was not enough to seal the series, though, as captain Rohit (50 from 29) produced a fierce onslaught to become the leading run-scorer in T20 internationals and Rishabh Pant (40 not out) hit the winning runs with seven balls to spare.

Tim Seifert - who made 84 in Wellington - was unable to repeat his heroics from the first match of the series, edging Bhuvneshwar Kumar behind to fall for only 12 before Pandya came to the party.

The spinner removed Colin Munro and Daryl Mitchell followed in controversial fashion in the same over, given out leg before following a review when there appeared to be an inside edge.

Pandya also trapped captain Williamson leg before, but De Grandhomme flexed his muscles as he and Taylor put on 77 for the fifth wicket - the all-rounder striking four sixes in a powerful knock.

De Grandhomme took 16 off three balls from Yuzvendra Chahal and struck Pandya for back-to-back sixes before falling to younger brother Hardik Pandya, then Taylor (42) was run out as New Zealand lost momentum.

Rohit took no time to get his eye in under the lights when India began their run chase, smashing Lockie Ferguson's first ball over the deep midwicket boundary before also setting about Scott Kuggeleijn.

The India skipper moved to 50 from only 28 balls but fell in the next over when he pulled a short ball from Ish Sodhi straight to Tim Southee at deep midwicket.

India were 88-2 when Shikhar Dhawan (30) was bounced out by Ferguson, but Pant - who struck a six and found the ropes four times - and MS Dhoni (20no) saw them home with ease, setting up a winner-takes-all showdown in Hamilton on Sunday.

Australia have been dealt a blow with Mitchell Starc ruled out of the upcoming limited-overs series against India due to a torn pectoral muscle.

Starc took 10 wickets to lead Australia to a resounding win over Sri Lanka in the second Test in Canberra, but was hurt on the final day.

The left-arm paceman was left out of the 15-man squad for the tour of India starting on February 24.

"Unfortunately, scans have revealed that Mitchell Starc sustained a substantial tear to his left pec muscle while bowling on the final day of the Test match in Canberra," Australia national selector Trevor Hohns said in a statement on Thursday. 

"This means he will be unavailable for the tour of India, but we will instead target a return to play for the ODI series against Pakistan in the UAE in March."

Australia will play two Twenty20s and five ODIs against India, who won last month's 50-over series between the teams 2-1.

Starc's fellow paceman Josh Hazlewood is still sidelined with a back injury, with Kane Richardson and Nathan Coulter-Nile to get their chances.

Shaun Marsh was included and is expected to be available for the third ODI as the left-hander recovers from a hamstring strain and awaits the birth of his second child, with D'Arcy Short in the squad as cover.

Ashton Turner, who has played three T20s for Australia, was also named.

"I'd also like to congratulate Ashton Turner on his selection in the squad. Ashton has been on our radar for some time, given his performances in the shorter formats," Hohns said.

"Ashton is a smart cricketer who reads the game well and provides us with another strong batting option.

"He's been in good form over the summer, and he has an opportunity to put his case forward ahead of the World Cup."

Australia: Aaron Finch (c), Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Pat Cummins, Peter Handscomb, Usman Khawaja, Nathan Lyon, Shaun Marsh, Glenn Maxwell, Jhye Richardson, Kane Richardson, D'Arcy Short (cover for Shaun Marsh), Marcus Stoinis, Ashton Turner, Adam Zampa.

New Zealand inflicted India's biggest Twenty20 defeat as Tim Seifert's 84 and a shared effort with the ball helped the Black Caps to a dominant 80-run win on Wednesday.

Opening batsman Seifert - whose previous highest T20I score was 14 - made his runs from just 43 balls as the home side posted a daunting 219-6 in Wellington, the largest total in the format at Westpac Stadium.

India, fresh from a 4-1 triumph in the ODI series, never looked like troubling that score despite MS Dhoni's measured 39 off 31 deliveries.

Tim Southee (3-17) was chief protagonist with the ball, while Lockie Ferguson (2-22), Mitchell Santner (2-24) and Ish Sodhi (2-26) played their part in dismissing India for 139.

Seifert was in turbo mode from the off, putting on 86 for the opening wicket with Colin Munro (34 off 20).

He had already whacked Bhuvneshwar Kumar for six by the time Krunal Pandya was swept into the grandstand over backward square-leg.

Back-to-back maximums off the same bowler followed in the 11th over, at the end of which he was wastefully put down by Dinesh Karthik running in from long-on.

Seifert's electric knock, which included seven fours and six sixes, finally came to an end courtesy of a Khaleel Ahmed yorker, but contributions of 34 and 23 from Kane Williamson and Ross Taylor boosted the tally.

India lost Rohit Sharma early when his attempted pull off Southee found the safe hands of Ferguson at deep square-leg. 

A 33-run stand between Shikhar Dhawan (29) and Vijay Shankar (27) was ended when Ferguson bowled the former, before Southee and Sodhi tore into the middle order as Rishabh Pant, Karthik and Hardik Pandya all failed to get going. 

Dhoni struck five fours and a six and put on 52 with Krunal Pandya but Southee accounted for both men as the Black Caps cantered to a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.

Martin Guptill has been ruled out of New Zealand's Twenty20 international series against India due to a back injury.

The opener failed a fitness test in Wellington on Monday, so all-rounder Jimmy Neesham has been brought into the squad.

New Zealand are hoping Guptill recovers in time for a one-day international series against Bangladesh, which starts a week on Wednesday.

"Unfortunately, Martin hasn't recovered in time for this T20 series - which is very condensed with three games over five days," said Black Caps coach Gary Stead.

"It's a shame as he's obviously a big part of our white-ball sides, but we've got to look at the big picture and ensure he gets the injury right.

"It's great to have Jimmy coming into the side after some encouraging ODI performances."

New Zealand and India play the first of three T20s at Westpac Stadium on Wednesday.

Rohit Sharma was impressed with the way India bounced back from their Hamilton drubbing to seal a 4-1 series win in the final ODI against New Zealand on Sunday.

Ambati Rayudu made 90 to help India recover from 18-4 to post 252 in Wellington, with his 98-run stand with Vijay Shankar proving crucial.

New Zealand could only muster 217 in response to fall to a 35-run defeat, just three days on from dishing out an eight-wicket rout in which India were bowled out for a measly 92.

"After the Hamilton loss, the way we lost was big. We needed to get together as a team," said Sharma of India, who won the first three matches.

"After we lost four wickets, all we needed was somebody to show application. The partnership between Rayudu and Vijay Shankar turned the game for us. 

"The wicket got flat at the end, but at one point it looked an easy chase. The bowling unit came together. A lot of people put their hands up and got us through.

"The partnership from Rayudu and Shankar was crucial. When you want to win games, you need a right balance."

Sharma, standing in as captain for the rested Virat Kohli, opted to bat despite testing conditions and explained his reasons for doing so.

"I knew there was some moisture on the pitch. If the series was alive, we would have chased," he added. 

"We wanted to test ourselves. I couldn't ask for more. Coming here and beating New Zealand at home is never easy and they are a good travelling team as well. 4-1 is a great achievement."

Opposition skipper Kane Williamson felt the turning point was the end of a promising 67-run stand between himself and Tom Latham. 

"They got to a par total, maybe a few more. We knew it would be tricky, but we did not take it further. We just lost wickets at the wrong time," he said.

"Rayudu played well with 90 and did not score for a long time. Then they put the pressure back on us - it's a lesson for us. 

"Tommy Latham and me could have taken it further. Credit to India, they showed us a lesson and they deserve the series win. 

"Throughout the series, they got us under more pressure. We were able to revert the pressure but not long enough and often enough."

Ambati Rayudu led a middle-order recovery before New Zealand struggled with the bat as India earned a 35-run win in the fifth and final ODI.

India had already sealed the series but had been humbled in an eight-wicket defeat in the fourth contest, in which they were bowled out for a measly 92.

A similar scenario appeared to be playing out when India, who had opted to bat despite moisture on the Wellington surface, slipped to 18-4.

However, Rayudu mixed scratchy defence with some fine stroke play to make a crucial 90, while all-rounders Vijay Shankar and Hardik Pandya (both 45) contributed to India's 252 all out.

The Black Caps were always playing catch-up in reply and Mohammed Shami (2-35), Pandya (2-50) and Yuzvendra Chahal (3-41) ensured wickets fell at regular intervals as New Zealand were bowled for 217.

Rohit Sharma, standing in as captain for Virat Kohli, asked India to challenge themselves in testing conditions after opting to bat on a pitch more suited to bowling.

India toiled at first as Sharma (2), Shikhar Dhawan (6), Shubman Gill (7) and MS Dhoni (1) fell inside 10 overs, with Trent Boult (3-39) and Matt Henry (4-35) claiming a couple of wickets each.

Rayudu and Shankar put on 98 for the fifth wicket, though, the latter at first looking more at ease before his 64-ball knock was ended by a run-out following a miscommunication.

It took Rayudu a while to get going but a six over the long-on boundary off Colin de Grandhomme laid the foundation for a more fluent showing and he whacked Colin Munro for six on three occasions.

Rayudu scored 46 off his final 31 balls before a slice off Henry to cover saw him fall short of a century.

Pandya enjoyed an electric 22-ball showing that included three consecutive sixes, the fifth time he has done so in his career, to dent Todd Astle's (0-35) figures and lift India's total.

New Zealand never truly got going in reply with Shami accounting for openers Henry Nicholls (8) and Munro (24) and Ross Taylor (1) facing just four deliveries before being trapped lbw by Pandya.

Dangerman Kane Williamson (39) put on 67 with Tom Latham (37), but when he undercooked a Kedar Jadhav delivery to deep midwicket the momentum was stalled.

Chahal then trapped Latham and quickly snared De Grandhomme (11) and, despite a gutsy 44 from Josh Neesham and Mitchell Santner's 22, New Zealand had too much ground to make up. 

Bhuvneshwar Kumar says India's humiliating thrashing at the hands of New Zealand in the fourth ODI at Seddon Park should serve as a reality check.

The outstanding Trent Boult claimed 5-21 as India were skittled out for their seventh-lowest ODI total of 92 in Hamilton on Thursday.

New Zealand needed only 14.4 overs to seal an eight-wicket victory in a fourth match of a series that India have already won.

Kumar said the drubbing showed India - who were captained by Rohit Sharma with Virat Kohli rested for the remainder of the tour - can ill afford to let their standards slip with one more ODI and three Twenty20 encounters to come.

The seamer said: "If you look at the cricket we have been playing in the last few months, we have played good cricket and such matches come after some time.

"So, it is a kind of reality check what we can do and improve in the next matches.

"We were confident after winning the series but things didn't go our way. I don't want to take credit away from these guys [New Zealand]. They bowled really well and outplayed us."

Kumar said Kohli was sorely missed, but India must show they can cope without the prolific captain.

"You always miss him in such kind of wickets but at the same time it was an opportunity for Shubman Gill, who came in his place. What he [Kohli] has done is amazing but we always don't want to depend on him," he added.

Defending champions West Indies will face Pakistan and Australia in the group stage of the 2020 ICC T20 World Cup.

The world's top-ranked Twenty20 team, Pakistan open the Super 12s stage against the hosts Australia in Sydney on October 24 next year.

Australia will then face defending champions West Indies in Perth four days later, it was revealed on Tuesday.

Joining that trio in Group 1 are New Zealand and two teams coming through the first round.

India, ranked second, lead Group 2, which also includes England, South Africa and Afghanistan, with two more teams to qualify.

Melbourne will host the final on November 15, with the semis played in Sydney and Adelaide.

A host nation has never won the ICC T20 World Cup and only Sri Lanka have made the final at home, finishing as runners-up in 2012.

The women's tournament is also being held in Australia, with the final to be played on March 8.

New Zealand head coach Gary Stead retains faith in his team's ability to play spin despite seeing Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal again combine for six wickets in an emphatic India win on Saturday.

Wrist spinners Kuldeep and Chahal claimed four and two scalps respectively as India dominated the first one-day international in Napier and were equally productive at Mount Maunganui, ensuring the tourists comfortably defended a total of 324-4.

Stead knows New Zealand must improve with the bat, but highlighted their recent success against Sri Lanka as proof the Black Caps can flourish against the turning ball.

"It's not that we can't play spin bowling, we've just taken some options that haven't been the best options at times," said Stead in a news conference.

"I have faith in our guys. We played the spin bowling very well against Sri Lanka and they had a lot of spinners, so it's not like we can't, we just haven't done it effectively.

"The two wrist spinners that they [India] have here are very, very effective bowlers. Our challenge is to find a way to be better.

"We haven't built partnerships across the whole top six or seven. That was the strength of what we did so well against Sri Lanka and it's what we haven't clicked and done here yet.

"I guess, as a batting unit, that's going to be our challenge going into the next three games, to build those partnerships. It's got to be the top order that scores the majority of the runs and we haven't done that in the two games as yet."

India all-rounder Kedar Jadhav, who contributed 22 from 10 balls at the end of his side's innings before chipping in with 1-35, hailed the value of Kuldeep and Chahal, describing the pair as "two of our key assets in the middle overs".

"As a team, we back them totally," Jadhav added. "They are two talented wrist spin bowlers and I guess most other teams find it difficult to score against them. If we put runs on the board, batsmen have to take risks against them and that works for us."

Kuldeep Yadav built on the excellent work of India's batting unit as Virat Kohli's side thumped New Zealand by 90 runs at Mount Maunganui to move 2-0 up in their five-match one-day international series.

An opening stand of 154 between Rohit Sharma (87) and Shikhar Dhawan (66) gave the tourists a perfect platform on Saturday, before the rest of the top six provided handy contributions in a total of 324-4.

New Zealand slumped to 166-8 in reply as Kuldeep (4-45) picked up four wickets in his first six overs.

A defiant, counter-attacking 57 from Doug Bracewell, who had never previously made an ODI fifty, delayed the inevitable but the Black Caps were still dismissed for 234 in the 41st over.

Rohit was fortunate to survive a magnificent first over from Trent Boult, the batsman edging the opening ball of the match between the wicketkeeper and a lone slip fielder who was positioned wide.

However, Rohit and Dhawan - who returned to form with an unbeaten 75 in the first ODI - were soon in command, both finding the boundary with regularity in a partnership that spanned 25.2 overs.

The Black Caps pulled things back impressively in the second half of the innings, with Kohli (43 from 45 balls), Ambati Rayudu (47 off 49) and MS Dhoni all kept in check.

However, late acceleration from Dhoni, who was dropped on 29 off Colin de Grandhomme before finishing unbeaten on 48 off 33, and Kedar Jadhav (22 not out off 10) boosted India and New Zealand's chase never got going.

Kane Williamson provided brief fireworks, smashing 16 from three Mohammed Shami balls before chopping on two deliveries later, but the hosts were undermined by regular dismissals as they slipped to 100-4.

Kuldeep then took centre stage, claiming the next four wickets to fall including the scalps of Henry Nicholls and Ish Sodhi with successive balls in the 31st over.

At that point, Kuldeep had 4-15, but his figures took a hit late in the innings as Bracewell clubbed five fours and three sixes in an entertaining bout of resistance.

 

Hardik Pandya will join up with India's squad in New Zealand after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) temporarily lifted his ban.

Hardik Pandya and KL Rahul are free to play for India again after the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) lifted the bans on the duo.

All-rounder Pandya and batsman Rahul were suspended on January 11 and sent home from the tour of Australia following controversial comments made on a television show.

Both players apologised to the BCCI for remarks perceived as being sexist during an appearance on 'Koffee with Karan'.

Pandya also published a statement on his personal Instagram account, admitting he had "got a bit carried away with the nature of the show" and did not mean to disrespect anyone.

On Thursday, the BBCI issued a statement confirming their committee of administrators had lifted the "interim suspension orders" with immediate effect, pending the appointment and adjudication of the board's ombudsman.

India's team management can now call up either player to join the rest of the one-day squad on tour in New Zealand.

They won the opening game of a five-match ODI series against the Black Caps by eight wickets in Napier, with the second game taking place on Saturday.

Virat Kohli will play no part in the tour of New Zealand beyond the third ODI next week as India opt to rest their captain.

Kohli made 45 from 59 balls to help the visitors to a resounding eight-wicket win in the opening ODI in Napier on Wednesday, but he will only be available for the second and third instalments in Mount Maunganui.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has announced that the skipper will be rested from the fourth and fifth matches of the series, as well as the three Twenty20 contests that follow.

"Considering his workload in the last few months, the team management and senior selection committee is of the view that it would be ideal for him to get adequate rest ahead of the home series against Australia," read a BCCI statement. 

"There will be no replacement for Mr. Kohli in the squad for the New Zealand series. Rohit Sharma will captain the side in the final two ODIs and T20I series."

On Tuesday, Kohli completed a clean sweep in being named ICC Cricketer of the Year to go alongside his awards in the Test and 50-over formats.

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