Having already won all the matches, including two back-to-back super-over victories, the Indian team will look to test their bench strength in the final Twenty-20 International (T20I) of the five-match series at the Bay Oval in Mount Maunganui. The last match has already witnessed some changes from them and Virat Kohli & Co will walk the similar path.
The Indian batting line-up have flourished like never before in New Zealand, with the top and middle-order coordinating with each other nicely. The fifth match is expected to be no different but the limelight will be on certain players like Sanju Samson and Shivam Dube who are yet to produce anything substantial.
The bowlers, on the other hand, played the secondary role to utmost perfection in the first two matches. But the way they came back at the death overs in the third and fourth T20Is and enforced super overs, have been brilliant from their part. New Zealand were cruising to victories on both occasions, but the Indian bowlers snatched victory from their jaws.
New Zealand, on the other hand, will be looking for a consolatory win. Keeping the poor form of their pacers in mind, the hosts may also make some changes into the squad. The Kiwis have nothing but their stars to blame and Kane Williamson & Co will be hoping to stage a turnaround.
The wicket in Mount Maunganui is likely to be batting friendly and the Blackcaps batsmen will have to take the added responsibility. Kane Williamson has reinvented himself as a T20I batsman and is going bonkers against the Indian attack.
But other than the skipper, the other batsmen are yet to replicate their captain. Given their status as senior players, Martin Guptill and Ross Taylor will be needed to up their game if the home team are to remain in contention for winning a match.
The bowling attack has been mediocre, to say the least. Senior bowler Tim Southee has failed to lead the attack in the absence of Trent Boult.
IND vs NZ 5th T20I: Pitch Report
The track at Bay Oval has traditionally been batting heaven with an average first innings score of 199. The spinners, though, might get some assistance during the middle overs of the play. To sum up in one sentence the wicket in Mount Maunganui behaves similarly to a traditional sub-continental pitch.
IND vs NZ 5th T20I: Weather Report
Much to the relief of cricket fans, there is no prediction of rain during the match hours and one can expect a full-length T20I contest on Sunday. However, there will be some intermittent cloud hanging over.
The temperature is expected to hover around 22-26 degree Celcius. Also, like in every ground in New Zealand, the wind will be a factor at Bay Oval as well. The wind is likely to blow at a speed of over 30 kilometres per hour which will make the lives of the fielders tough on the ground.