Mumbai Indians take on Delhi Capitals in the 2020 Indian Premier League final on Tuesday, aiming to retain the title they won for a record-extending fourth time last year.

The Rohit Sharma-led side have been in great form and enter the contest as strong favourites to overcome the Capitals, who are competing in their first final.

But if Mumbai are to become only the second side to win back-to-back crowns, after Chennai Super Kings in 2010 and 2011, they will need to end their even-number year jinx.

Their previous triumphs came in 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019, losing their only odd-number year final to the Super Kings in 2010.

Delhi may lack the pedigree of their opponents but confidence will be high in the camp after overcoming Sunrisers Hyderabad by 17 runs on Sunday.

As the top two sides in the tournament pool stage prepare to go head-to-head at the Dubai International Stadium, we look at where the game could be won and lost.

 


DHAWAN CHASING DOWN RAHUL

Capitals' Shikhar Dhawan enters the final with 603 runs from 16 matches and needs 68 to overtake Kings XI Punjab's K. L. Rahul at the top of the charts.

Dhawan is averaging 46.38 and has two hundreds to his name in this season's IPL.

Mumbai have a couple of big hitters of their own in the top five, with Ishan Kishan and Quinton de Kock (both 483) behind only Rahul, Dhawan and David Warner (548).

Four Mumbai batsmen have hit at least 20 sixes in this year's IPL - Kishan (29), Hardik Pandya (25), Kieron Pollard (22) and De Kock (21).

No Capitals player has reached that mark yet - Marcus Stoinis being their most frequent boundary-clearer with 16.


BUMRAH LEADING THE WAY

While Dhawan - who also leads the way in terms of centuries (2) - is in strong contention to win the Orange Cap, Jasprit Bumrah is still eyeing the Purple Cap.

That is currently in Kagiso Rabada's possession, having taken 29 wickets in 16 matches, but Bumrah is just two behind with 27.

The Capitals' biggest wicket-taker, by comparison, is Anrich Nortje, who is down in seventh with 20 from his 15 outings.

In terms of all-rounders, Stoinis has scored 352 runs and taken 12 wickets, making him one of only 12 to have completed the 350-10 double in an IPL season.

MUMBAI'S PROVEN PEDIGREE

Perhaps more than any individual stats, though, is the fact that Mumbai Indians have been there and done it.

They are the most successful IPL franchise ever, reaching five of the 12 finals and winning four of those.

However, the sides' head-to-head record ahead of this season stood at 12 wins apiece, only for Mumbai to win three in a row.

Intriguingly, one finalist has had a 3-0 record against the other in the last three IPL seasons, and it did not stop the Mumbai Indians ending their losing streak against Rising Pune Supergiant on one of those occasions in 2017.

Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult blew away Delhi Capitals' top order as Mumbai Indians cruised into another Indian Premier League final with a 57-run victory on Thursday.

Four-time champions Mumbai finished top of the table and will take some stopping in the final next Tuesday on the evidence of this crushing win in Qualifier 1.

Suryakumar Yadav (51 from 38 balls) marked his 100th IPL match with a half-century, while Ishan Kishan (55 not out from 30) also raised his bat as the holders posted 200-5.

Quinton de Kock (40 off 25) and Hardik Pandya (37no from 14) were the other Mumbai batsmen who put on a show at Dubai International Cricket Stadium, with Ravichandran Ashwin (3-29) the standout Capitals bowler.

The game was all-but over early in the run chase as Boult and Bumrah ran riot, the defending champions taking three wickets before Delhi had a run on the board.

Bumrah replaced Kagiso Rabada as the leading wicket-taker in this year's tournament with incredible figures of 4-14 and Boult would probably have claimed more than 2-9 if he bowled more than two overs.

Delhi never recovered from a lethal early burst from the pace duo, who have 49 wickets between them in the 2020 IPL, and their eventual 143-8 was much more than they looked destined for.

Marcus Stoinis (65 from 46) and Axar Patel (42 off 33) salvaged some pride, and Delhi must regroup before facing Sunrisers Hyderabad or Royal Challengers Bangalore on Sunday for the right to play Mumbai in the final.

 

KISHAN AND PANDYA CAP IT OFF

De Kock took 15 off the first over from Daniel Sams, but Rohit Sharma went for a golden duck when he was trapped leg before playing down the wrong line to an Ashwin delivery.

The holders were flying at 63-1 at the end of the powerplay, with Yadav in great touch, but De Kock fell 10 short of a half-century and they were 101-4 in the 13th over when Kieron Pollard became the excellent Ashwin's third victim.

Kishan and Pandya conjured up a devastating late onslaught, though, putting on 60 from only 23 balls, with Anrich Nortje suffering the most as he went for 50 off his four overs.

Pandya launched back-to-back sixes in the penultimate over from Rabada and struck five in total, while Kishan dispatched the last ball of the innings from Nortje over extra cover for six to reach his half-century and bring up the 200.

 

BOULT AND BUMRAH SPELL DOUBLE TROUBLE FOR DELHI

Delhi needed a blistering start to have a chance of chasing down a big target, but instead they became the first IPL team to be three down without scoring a run.

Boult and Bumrah were rested for the Indians' heavy loss to Sunrisers in their last game of the regular season and the refreshed pacemen were bang on the money on their return.

Left-arm quick Boult dismissed Prithvi Shaw and Ajinkya Rahane in the first over before Bumrah bowled Shikhar Dhawan with an unplayable searing yorker.

Shreyas Iyer also fell to the brilliant Bumrah prior to Rishabh Pant being sent on his way by Krunal Pandya to leave Delhi reeling on 41-5, with Stoinis' entertaining knock always going to be in vain.

Jasprit Bumrah starred with the ball and Suryakumar Yadav made a brilliant half-century as Mumbai Indians beat Royal Challengers Bangalore in the battle of the top two in the Indian Premier League.

Both sides came into the showdown on the back of defeats and it was leaders Mumbai who responded like the champions they are, winning by five wickets in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

Bumrah moved past the 100 IPL wickets and 200 T20 scalp landmarks with outstanding figures of 3-14 from four overs, playing a big part in restricting RCB to 164-6.

Devdutt Padikkal (74 from 45 balls) and Josh Philippe (33 off 24) got Virat Kohli's second-placed side off to a flyer, but they were rocked by the India paceman Bumrah at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.

Kieron Pollard also made an impact with the ball, removing AB de Villiers for only 15 in his only over – which cost just five runs.

Yadav was Mumbai's match-winner with the bat, making a statement to the India selectors after he was left out for the tour of Australia by crafting an unbeaten 79 off 43 balls.

Mohammed Siraj and Yuzvendra Chahal took two wickets apiece, but they were unable to see the back of the classy Yadav, who hit the winning runs off the first ball of the last over to leave the Indians on the brink of the play-offs.

BRILLIANT BUMRAH HITS MILESTONES BY CLAIMING KOHLI SCALP 

India paceman Bumrah is up to second on the list of the leading wicket-takers in the 2020 tournament after playing a huge hand for the defending champions yet again.

He also reached two significant landmarks by claiming the huge wicket of Kohli, who was caught in the deep after top-edging a short ball.

Bumrah then removed Shivam Dube and Padikkal, who struck 12 fours and a six in a classy knock, in the 17th over and bowled 15 dot balls in another outstanding performance with ball in hand.

YADAV MAKES HIS POINT AFTER INDIA SNUB

Siraj was called up by India this week and celebrated by getting rid of Quinton de Kock and Saurabh Tiwary, while Chahal sent Ishan Kishan packing.

Mumbai were 107-4 when Krunal Pandya fell in the 14th over, but Yadav never looked troubled in a brilliant knock, reaching his half-century off 29 balls.

The elegant right-hander struck three of his 10 fours off the 16th over, bowled by Siraj, and two of his three sixes came off the spinner Chahal as he finished with a strike rate of 183.72.

Trent Boult took four wickets and Ishan Kishan blasted an unbeaten half-century as Mumbai Indians returned to the top of the Indian Premier League with a 10-wicket hammering of Chennai Super Kings.

It was the most one-sided of contests at Sharjah Cricket Stadium, where CSK could only post 114-9 on Friday.

That marked something of a recovery for the bottom side, who were reeling on 3-4 after Boult (4-18) and Jasprit Bumrah (2-25) took two wickets apiece in devastating opening bursts.

They were rocking on 43-7 before Sam Curran spared them complete humiliation with 52 from 47 balls. 

Rahul Chahar also capitalised on the sorry Super Kings' batting frailties by taking 2-22 and the Indians openers made light work of moving them back to the summit.

Kishan made 68 from a mere 37 deliveries and the in-form Quinton de Kock finished unbeaten on 46 as the defending champions sealed a thumping win with as many as 7.4 overs to spare.

Victory moves Mumbai level on points with Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore.

 

BOULT AND BUMRAH WREAK HAVOC IN PITIFUL POWERPLAY

CSK were floored by Boult and Bumrah as they lost five wickets in the powerplay for the first time ever.

The brilliant Boult trapped Ruturaj Gaikwad leg before in the first over and had Faf du Plessis caught behind by De Kock after Bumrah struck twice in as many balls, seeing the back of Ambati Rayudu and Narayan Jagadeesan.

Curran offered some much-needed resistance without notable support before he was bowled off the last ball of the innings from Boult, who also dismissed Ravindra Jadeja.

New Zealand seamer Boult is third in the list of leading wicket-takers in the 2020 IPL with 16, one less than Bumrah.

 

SEALED WITH A KISH

It takes a special innings to upstage South Africa white-ball captain De Kock and Kishan produced one.

The 22-year-old struck five sixes in another demonstration of his immense talent, reaching his half-century by disdainfully reverse-sweeping Jadea over the rope.

Gaikwad gave Kishan a life when he put him down, summing up CSK's day, and De Kock - who had made three consecutive half-centuries - struck a couple of sixes as Mumbai coasted to victory.

Mumbai Indians won a third straight match and moved top of the Indian Premier League as they recorded a 57-run win over slumping Rajasthan Royals on Tuesday.

Suryakumar Yadav scored 79 not out from 47 balls as the Indians, who won the toss and elected to bat, set a strong total of 193-4 in Abu Dhabi.

Jos Buttler smashed 70 from 44 deliveries in response but he lacked meaningful support from any of his Royals team-mates, who will be eagerly anticipating the availability of Ben Stokes once his period of quarantine in the United Arab Emirates is over.

Jasprit Bumrah starred for the Indians with bowling figures of 4-20 – his best in the IPL – to ensure his team moved above the Delhi Capitals at the summit and condemned the Royals, who had won their first two matches, to a third consecutive defeat as they were bowled out for 136.
 

YADAV GOES BIG

After opener Quinton de Kock fell to IPL debutant Kartik Tyagi, Mumbai looked like they could be in trouble in their middle overs when Shreyas Gopal (2-28) removed Rohit Sharma (35) and Ishan Kishan (0) with successive deliveries.

Krunal Pandya went to Jofra Archer for 12 but Yadav pushed the Indians forward, bringing up his fifty with a four off Tom Curran.

Yadav established an unbeaten partnership worth 76 runs with Hardik Pandya (30 off 19) and finished with 11 fours and a pair of maximums for his highest IPL score.

POLLARD DENIES BRILLIANT BUTTLER

The Royals' hopes of being competitive were effectively dashed inside their opening three overs as they lost Yashasvi Jaiswal and Sanju Samson to Trent Boult for ducks either side of Steve Smith swiping Bumrah to De Kock.

Rajasthan were in poor shape at 12-3 – the third game in a row they have been three down inside seven overs – but Buttler launched five maximums and found the rope four more times to give them hope.

However, a stunning catch from Kieron Pollard, who adjusted well in the deep after Buttler's shot initially hit his forearm, ended the wicketkeeper-batsman's electric knock.

Bumrah capped a commanding display from the Indians by dismissing Rahul Tewatia (5) and Gopal (1) in the same over before accounting for Archer at the end of his next set of six.

Defending champions Mumbai Indians were clinical with both bat and ball as Sunrisers Hyderabad fell well short in a 34-run defeat in Sunday's Indian Premier League match. 

Quinton de Kock smashed 67 off 39 balls and a 78-run stand with Ishan Kishan (31) was fundamental in building the foundations for Mumbai's score of 208-5. 

Krunal Pandya's explosion in the final over, during which he battered Siddarth Kaul for 20 from four balls, helped Mumbai get to that tally, which seemed to be above par on a slow pitch. 

David Warner made a pedestrian start, though he picked up the pace to at least gave Sunrisers a fighting chance until his knock was ended on 60, departing in the 16th over to effectively end their hopes. 

There was little help in a disappointing middle-order showing, with pace trio James Pattinson (2-29), Trent Boult (2-28) and Jasprit Bumrah (2-41) doing the damage for Mumbai, who restricted Sunrisers to 174-7. 

Victory means Mumbai now have three wins and two defeats from five games to move top of the table, while a third loss for Sunrisers leaves them sixth.

 

QUINTON DE KOCK OF THE WALK 

Rohit Sharma (6) lasted just five deliveries but De Kock and Suryakumar Yadav (27) put on 42 before the big stand with Kishan boosted Mumbai. 

De Kock, who hit four fours and as many sixes, was the protagonist of the partnership, contributing 54 of the 78 runs. 

LACK OF SUPPORT FOR WARNER 

Pandya may have rued putting down Manish Pandey with a sitter at deep point when he went on to put on a 60-run partnership with Warner. 

But when Pandey clumsily chipped Pattinson to long off, Warner – who had five fours and two sixes in his 44-ball knock – was not helped by Kane Williamson (3) or Priyam Garg (8). 

When Warner got a thick edge to a slower one from Pattinson that was taken with a superb diving catch by Kishan at short third man, the game was up. 

The Indian Premier League returns this weekend, with the creme de la creme of the sport in the United Arab Emirates for the marquee Twenty20 competition of franchise cricket.

Mumbai Indians, the defending champions, face Chennai Super Kings in Saturday's curtain-raiser, which is a repeat of the 2019 final.

Here, we take a look at the players who should light up the tournament.

 

VIRAT KOHLI (Royal Challengers Bangalore)

No man has more IPL runs than RCB captain Kohli, whose 5,412 have been accrued at an average of 37.84 across his 117 matches.

Key Stat: India superstar Kohli is the only batsman in the history of T20 internationals to average more than 50 (50.80) among those with a minimum of 20 innings.

MS DHONI (Chennai Super Kings)

He may have retired from international duty, but Chennai skipper Dhoni is not calling time on his IPL career just yet. You feel the 'finisher' will want to end with a flourish.

Key Stat: Dhoni has made the most runs as a captain (4,142) among the eight skippers. Rajasthan Royals captain Steve Smith is the only man to have a better win percentage (65.5 per cent) than Dhoni's 59.8 per cent too.

JASPRIT BUMRAH (Mumbai Indians)

Player of the match in the 2019 final, it was Bumrah's 2-14 that proved pivotal to Mumbai's success. The seamer has mastered the art of death bowling.

Key stat: No one bowled more balls at the death (overs 17-20) than Bumrah's 172 deliveries in 2019. He had an economy of just 7.7 during that period. 

ANDRE RUSSELL (Kolkata Knight Riders)

West Indian all-rounder Russell is a box office draw for Kolkata Knight Riders having averaged 56.7 with the bat last year.

Key stat: Russell made 510 runs in 2019, of which 85.5 per cent were made from boundaries. That was the biggest percentage for those to have made at least 20 runs.

ROHIT SHARMA (Mumbai Indians)

A record four-time winner of the IPL as Mumbai captain, Rohit made 52 fours last season - the most of his 12-year IPL career.

Key stat: Rohit is 102 runs away from becoming the third batsman to reach 5,000 IPL runs after Kohli and Suresh Raina.

DAVID WARNER (Sunrisers Hyderabad)

Last season Warner won the Orange Cap - awarded to the IPL's leading run-scorer - for a record third time after amassing 692 runs, 99 more than anyone else in the tournament.

Key stat: Warner has now accumulated at least 600 runs in three separate campaigns. Chris Gayle (also three) is the only other batsman to have done so more than once.

DEEPAK CHAHAR (Chennai Super Kings)

Chahar had a breakthrough campaign with the Super Kings last year, claiming 22 wickets - a figure only South African duo Imran Tahir and Kagiso Rabada could better.

Key stat: The seamer bowled 64.3 overs in 2019 and 49 per cent of his deliveries were dot balls - the highest figure among those who bowled at least 10 overs.

KAGISO RABADA (Delhi Capitals)

The Proteas quick made his mark in the IPL last season when he took 25 wickets in the Capitals' run to the semi-finals.

Key stat: Of those who bowled at least 10 overs, Rabada had the best average (14.72) while he and international team-mate Tahir were the only two bowlers to have more than one four-wicket haul.

Fans and the SportsMax Zone were not in agreement with a panel of experts, who made a decision on its picks for SportsMax’s Ultimate XI T20 bowlers today.

The panel on the set of the Zone, made up of former West Indies fast bowler and cricket commentator Ian Bishop, cricket umpire Chris Taylor, and statistician Zaheer Clarke, along with Tom Moody and Vernon Singer (offset), have picked Sunil Narine, Rashid Khan and Lasith Malinga as their three bowlers.

The Afghan Rashid, the Sri Lankan Malinga and the West Indian Narine, were picked from a group of six that included India’s Jasprit Bumrah, South Africa’s Dale Steyn, and Australia’s Mitchell Starc.

Jasprit’s exclusion is where the bone of contention lies.

According to the SportsMax Zone, while Malinga and Narine are shoo-ins, Rashid was not.

In Rashid’s stead, the Zone has picked Jasprit.

In coming up with SportsMax’s Ultimate XI T20, there is a three-way split in the decision-making process with the panel’s picks accounting for 40% of votes, while the Zone has 25, and fans who vote online have a 35% stake in who makes the team.

Fans, so far, have agreed with the SprotsMax Zone’s take on the three best bowlers the T20 game has ever seen, also picking Jasprit to go alongside Narine and Malinga.

There is still an opportunity for the fans to change their minds, but at the moment, they are joining the zone in beating back the opinions of the expert panel.

So far, the panel has picked Chris Gayle and David Warner as its openers, Virat Kohli, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and AB de Villiers as its middle order to go along with Rashid, Narine and Malinga as its bowlers.

Tomorrow the panel will go about whittling down what are termed impact players in a bid to come up with its version of an Ultimate XI.

The Zone has differed in small ways to date, picking Rohit Sharma to go along with Gayle as well as picking Jasprit over Rashid.

Fans have stuck even closer to the panel to date. As far as openers and the middle order are concerned they are in complete agreement but have veered away with the bowling choices, choosing the same way as the Zone.

But the voting isn’t finished and fans, called fanalysts, can vote by clicking here or going to SportsMax.tv and just clicking on the Ultimate XI tab at the top of the screen.

SportsMax.tv has also built a list of profiles where Fanalysts can go to have a look at the careers of the players who have made the SportsMax Ultimate XI shortlist just in case you want to learn a little more about them before making your choice. To take a look at those players click here.

There is no place in the final XI set of SportsMax Ultimate XI T20 bowlers for a man who, at one time or another, was the world’s foremost T20 bowler after a panel of experts had to make tough choices to reduce a shortlist of the best in the format of all time.

A panel made up of cricket umpire Chris Taylor, former Australian cricketer and commentator Tom Moody, and regional commentator Vernon Springer, today on the SportsMax Zone, had to bring a not-so-short shortlist of 17 bowlers down to six for final discussion tomorrow where another panel will pick three for SportsMax’s Ultimate XI T20 team.

Samuel Badree will not be part of that discussion.

The team is picked through a combination of voting among fans, the panel, and the SportsMax Zone’s team.

Fans vote online, with their collective decision amounting to 35% of the vote, while the Zone team’s votes amount to 25%. The panel has the lion’s share of the percentage with their vote counting for 40%.

Today, the panel had to decide among a group made up of Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga and Ajantha Mendis; Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi, Umar Gul, Saeed Ajmal, Sohail Tanvir and Wahab Riaz; Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan; Afghanistan’s Rashid Khan; West Indies’ Sunil Narine, Badree, and Dwayne Bravo; South Africa’s Imran Tahir and Dale Steyn; India’s Jasprit Bumrah; along with Australia’s Dirk Nannes and Mitchell Starc, who would remain in the discussion for a second evening.

From that list, Afridi, Shakib, Umar, Saeed, Ajantha, Imran, Sohail, Badree, Nannes, Wahab, and Bravo, were all cut.

In the case of Bravo, the panel felt the all-rounder would be better suited as one of the Impact Players, a discussion that is to come down the line.

Badree, on the other hand, was seen as limited and not offering as much flexibility as would Rashid or Narine.

According to the panel, Taylor in particular, Badree is at his best when opening the bowling, while Narine and Rashid are useful throughout an innings.

The SportsMax Zone, in response, found no fault with the eventual six the panel came up with. The Zone and panel will discuss the merits and flaws of Malinga, Rashid, Narine, Steyn, Jasprit, and Starc before coming up with a final three.

While fans, call fanalysts, have not yet made up their mind on the three bowlers who would make up their Ultimate XI, there has been a trend that suggests their six for final discussion.

According to fans, Malinga, Narine, Jasprit, Rashid, Bravo, and Nannes would be the six they would have under consideration tomorrow.

Fanalysts can vote by clicking here or going to SportsMax.tv and just clicking on the Ultimate XI tab at the top of the screen.

SportsMax.tv has also built a list of profiles where Fanalysts can go to have a look at the careers of the players who have made the SportsMax Ultimate XI shortlist just in case you want to learn a little more about them before making your choice. To take a look at those players click here.

Jasprit Bumrah came to international prominence courtesy of an injury to Mohammed Shamsi, but he has not looked back since. The Indian team, at the time, desperately needed a death bowler, and Bumrah was it.

There are two weapons the paceman employ brilliantly, and it works just as well in T20s as it does in any form of cricket. Bumrah is master of the art of bowling Yorkers. With the Bumrah yorker, batsmen trying to earn quick runs at the death are faced with the added disadvantage of reverse swing, something he has a knack for finding, even with the limited movement of the white ball.

The slightly built pacer possesses a fast arm action and this has made his slower ball and other variations almost imperceptible.

While many cricketers have come to international cricket at the Test or ODI level and then adapted to the shortest form of the game, that is not the case for Bumrah.

Bumrah has gone the other way, using the Indian Premier League and his performances for the Mumbai Indians as a catalyst, he earned a place in T20 cricket first, before also doing the same with the Indian One-Day International team. Eventually, Bumrah would make his debut as a Test player and go on to show the kind of adaptability that makes for the best exponents of the T20 game.

In 2017, bowling against the Gujarat Lions in the IPL, Bumrah showed his skill in a super over. Given the ball ahead of Lasith Malinga, Bumrah successfully defended just 12 runs, against the might of Aaron Finch and the ultra-aggressive Brendon McCullum. He was at the peak of his powers. As a death bowler, Bumrah’s average is 7.06, which is quite remarkable.

 

Career Statistics (2013-present)

Full name: Jasprit Jasbirsingh Bumrah

Born: December 6, 1993, Ahmedabad (26)

Major teams: India, Gujarat, India A, India Green, India Under-23s, Mumbai Indians, West Region

Playing role: Bowler

Batting style: Right-hand bat

Bowling style: Right-arm fast

 

T20I Career

Mat   Inns   Balls      Runs     Wkts     BBI    BBM       Ave      Econ   SR      4w    5w    10w

50         49    1075      1195        59       3/11    3/11      20.25     6.66   18.2     0         0      0

T20 Career

Mat   Inns   Balls     Runs     Wkts     BBI    BBM     Ave    Econ    SR       4w    5w    10w

157     156   3480      4098       182       3/7     3/7      22.51    7.06   19.1       0       0       0

 

Career Highlights

  • #1 Indian T20I wicket-taker, 59 in 50 matches at 20.25
  • Most T20I wickets in the calendar year 2016 (28)
  • 183 T20 wickets taken at 22.51
  • Named in T20 XI of the year by ESPNCricinfo in 2016 & 2017

New Zealand suffered another horrendous collapse to hand India a seven-run win and 5-0 series victory in Ross Taylor's 100th T20 international on Sunday.

Tim Seifert (50) and milestone man Taylor (53) had steered the Black Caps to within sight of a consolation win at Bay Oval before familiar frailties again cost them near the finish line.

Jasprit Bumrah claimed 3-12 from his four overs and Navdeep Saini chipped in with 2-23 to destabilise New Zealand as they tried and failed to chase down 163.

India rested Virat Kohli and will hope Rohit Sharma, who top-scored with 60, quickly recovers from the suspected calf injury that prematurely ended his innings as they look ahead to the forthcoming ODI series.

After stand-in skipper Rohit elected to bat, India initially looked on course to exceed the 165 they set prior to prevailing in a Super Over at Westpac Stadium two days ago.

Sanju Samson squandered the opportunity granted to him in Kohli's absence, the opener driving Scott Kuggeleijn's wide delivery straight to Mitchell Santner at short cover, but his second-over exit failed to prevent the tourists from making a strong start.

Rohit and KL Rahul (45) put on 88 in 10 overs before the latter presented another simple catch to all-rounder Santner, this time from Hamish Bennett's bowling.

Shreyas Iyer made a sedate 31-ball 33 as India struggled to accelerate after Rohit decided he was unable to continue, having received treatment for a muscle problem.

Kuggeleijn removed Shivam Dube for five at the end of the 19th over and, though Tim Southee went for 52 from his allotted overs, the Black Caps appeared to have restricted India to an achievable target.

That especially seemed to be the case during the rapid 99-run partnership between Taylor and Seifert, the pair at one point taking 34 from six Dube deliveries.

But, having lost their nerve in back-to-back Super Over losses in Hamilton and Wellington, New Zealand's habit of throwing away winning positions again became an issue.

Seifert and Daryl Mitchell succumbed to Saini and Bumrah in consecutive overs to force a change in momentum, which completely swung India's way as Santner, Kuggeleijn and Taylor all departed in quick succession.

The Black Caps had lost 5-25 when Bumrah scrambled Southee's stumps to give little meaning to some late Ish Sodhi fireworks at the end of a lopsided series.

Shreyas Iyer's second Twenty20 International half-century fired India to a six-wicket victory over New Zealand after Jasprit Bumrah gave the tourists a brief injury scare at Eden Park.

The five-match series got under way in impressive fashion for India, despite the Black Caps - led by half-centuries from Colin Munro (59), Kane Williamson (51) and Ross Taylor (54 not out) - posting 204-4 in Auckland on Friday.

KL Rahul (56) and Virat Kohli (45) combined for a second-wicket stand of 99 - aided by some gifts in the field -  to do much of the heavy lifting, and the chase was then completed in style by an unbeaten 58 from Iyer with an over to spare.

Paceman Bumrah took 1-31, yet he looked to be in real pain after a fall during New Zealand's final over, requiring treatment and initially appearing to indicate he could not continue.

India's bowling options for the Test series already look to be restricted by an injury to Ishant Sharma, but Bumrah, who has just returned from a back problem, was able to see out the innings.

New Zealand had started with an excellent partnership of 80 between Martin Guptill (30) and Munro, before Williamson sought to lift the rate as the pace slowed.

Williamson's stand with Taylor was particularly effective - 61 off 28 - but the captain offered a simple catch to opposite number Kohli, and Bumrah then came to the fore.

Tim Seifert was swiftly dealt with, yet the final over began with a four from overthrows, before Bumrah rolled his left ankle on the edge of the wicket with the second delivery, eventually lifting himself to at least limit New Zealand to 203-5.

India's unconvincing fielding paled in comparison to their opponents' initial efforts, though.

Rohit Sharma departed for only seven but New Zealand passed up huge opportunities to halt Rahul and Kohli, failing to run out the former with two attempts and then seeing Ish Sodhi drop the captain.

But Tim Southee clung on brilliantly as Rahul belatedly departed in the 10th over, before an even better take from Guptill spelled the end of Kohli's knock.

The boundaries subsequently dried up, threatening to let New Zealand back in, before Iyer took up the mantle, blasting the winning six - his third - with the final ball of the penultimate over.

Virat Kohli's maximum wrapped up a comfortable seven-wicket win for India over Sri Lanka to take a 1-0 lead in their three-match Twenty20 series.

The opening clash was wiped out by rain in Guwahati and Sri Lanka's innings on Tuesday also proved a damp squib, the loss of late wickets limiting them to a modest 142-9.

India chased that down with 15 balls to spare at Indore, Kohli confirming the triumph in style to cap an explosive knock from the skipper.

Sri Lanka's top three made credible contributions but the tourists' line-up as a whole failed to fire.

Kusal Perera's brisk 34 included all three of his side's sixes, with Avishka Fernando (22) and Danushka Gunathilaka (20) providing support at the top end of the order.

Jasprit Bumrah had opened the bowling by conceding two wides and was then hit for four, but that went against the trend that was to follow.

Sri Lanka were frustrated in their efforts to reach anything close to a par score, despite Wanindu Hasaranga sending the final three deliveries to the boundary to book-end Bumrah's inconsistent spell.

With such a modest total to chase, India could afford to be patient and it took Sri Lanka until the 10th over to end KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan's 71-run opening partnership, Hasaranga claiming the former's scalp.

Dhawan went soon after, lbw to the same bowler, but it was never likely to trouble India's bid for victory and Shreyas Iyer added a handy 34 before falling in what proved to be the final over.

Kohli put the seal on things, swiping Lahiru Kumara over the ropes to finish with 30 off 17 deliveries.

The final match of the series takes place in Pune on Friday.

India's opening Twenty20 international against Sri Lanka was abandoned without a ball being bowled due to rain in Guwahati.

Jasprit Bumrah was set to return to action for India after recovering from a back injury, but his first appearance since September will have to wait.

Home captain Virat Kohli won the toss and chose to bowl, yet early evening rain meant there was no play possible, to the disappointment of a large crowd at the Barsapara Cricket Stadium.

Spectators entertained themselves with a mass singalong while waiting for news of pitch inspections, before a final decision was announced shortly before 10pm local time.

The second game in the three-match series is scheduled for Tuesday at the Holkar Stadium in Indore.

India have included fit-again duo Jasprit Bumrah and Shikhar Dhawan in their squads for the upcoming limited-overs games against Sri Lanka and Australia.

Paceman Bumrah has not played for his country since the Test series against West Indies concluded early in September due to a stress fracture of the back.

However, the 26-year-old is set to make his return in the three-match Twenty20 series with Sri Lanka, which takes place early in January.

Bumrah – who was part of India's squad for the 2019 Cricket World Cup - will also be involved when Australia are the visitors for three one-dayers later in the same month.

Dhawan also returns, the opening batsman available after overcoming a leg injury. However, Hardik Pandya is absent as he continues to recover from a back problem.

Rohit Sharma, meanwhile, is rested for the Sri Lanka series, along with fast bowler Mohammed Shami.

The first T20 takes place on January 5 in Guwahati, followed by games in Indore (January 7) and Pune (January 10).

As for the series with Australia, that begins in Mumbai on January 14. Virat Kohli's side will then be in 50-over action in Rajkot three days later, followed by the finale in Bangalore on January 19.

 

India squad for T20 series against Sri Lanka: Virat Kohli (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Sanju Samson, Rishabh Pant (wk), Shivam Dube, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Navdeep Saini, Jasprit Bumrah, Washington Sundar.

India squad for ODI series against Australia: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Kedar Jadhav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Navdeep Saini, Jasprit Bumrah, Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami.

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