When Indian captain Virat Kohli takes the field for the 3rd T20I vs New Zealand in Hamilton, he would be eyeing a couple of major records in the shortest format. India are currently leading the 5-match series 2-0 with 3 games to go and if the Men in Blue win on Wednesday, it will make Kohli the 1st India captain to win a T20I series in New Zealand.
Last time India toured New Zealand in early 2019, the tourist went on to lose the 3-match series 1-2 before winning the following ODI series 4-1. The only other time India played T20Is in New Zealand was back in 2008/09 when the visitors returned empty-handed after a 0-2 drubbing. But this time with India leading the ongoing series 2-0, Virat Kohli’s team will be eyeing their historic maiden T20I series victory.
Not only this, but captain Kohli will be looking to surpass his predecessor MS Dhoni on the list of international players with the most runs while leading a team. Kohli currently has 1088 runs as captain in T20Is and needs 25 more to leave behind Dhoni and occupy the 3rd spot on the all-time list which is headed by Faf du Plessis.
Du Plessis with 1273 runs as T20I captain is followed by Kohli’s opposite number in the ongoing series, Kane Williamson who has 1148 runs to his name. England’s Eoin Morgan completes the top-5 run-getters with most T20I runs as captain.
The other major record Kohli would be looking forward to in Hamilton is that of notching most 50+ scores as a T20I captain. Kohli is currently tied with du Plessis and Williamson on the overall list with 8 scores of 50+ each. And it should be a good race between the 2 opposing skippers Kohli and Williamson to see who gets to the top of this list at the end of the day.
It has been a quiet series so far, at least according to Kohli’s standards, as the skipper followed his 45(32) in the opener with 11(12) in the 2nd match.
In-form batsman KL Rahul, on the other hand, is also within reach of equalling the record for most consecutive fifties in T20Is. Rahul has been in supreme form with the bat off late, hitting 3 back-to-back 50s in his last 3 matches. If he manages another in Hamilton on Wednesday, he would equal the current record jointly held by Brendon McCullum and Chris Gayle who had 4 successive 50+ scores in 2008/09 and 2012 respectively.
In fact, amongst Indians, Rahul is currently tied with Kohli and Rohit Sharma who have had the distinction of scoring a hat-trick of T20I fifties as well. Curiously, Kohli has done it 3 times already (2012, 2014, 2016) while Sharma did so in 2018.
Rahul’s current streak dates back to the last of the 3 T20I vs Sri Lanka earlier this month when he hit a match-winning 54 in Pune to seal the series for India. Rahul then hit the ground running upon his arrival in New Zealand hitting 56 and 57* in the 1st 2 T20Is. Fair to say, Rahul, Kohli and Williamson look all set to send statisticians in a frenzy in Hamilton if they continue their good form with the bat.