India couldn’t be more happy with the start to the series as they comfortably wrapped up the T20I series in Florida to take an unassailable lead of 2-0 against the hosts. Even though not everything went according to plan for India in these two games, they still managed to do well enough eke out two wins against a sluggish opposition. The biggest positive for India for sure was the bowling attack. Navdeep Saini who made his debut in the series showed lots of promise and the spin attack looked in good touch. The trouble for India though was their batting. There was once again lots of reliance on the top order as the middle order once again faltered to deceive.
Rishabh Pant has had a couple of poor games with the bat and so did Manish Pandey. It will be interesting to see if India will make any changes for the third T20I. India still has Shreyas Iyer and KL Rahul in their mix to try out in the Middle-order. In terms of bowling, there isn’t going to be too many changes as all of the bowlers so far have done well. Bhuvneshwar Kumar might be rested for the final game which might be the only change.
For West Indies though their batting once again faltered. The openers looked out of sorts and they lost too many wickets in the power play to be able to challenge the Indian team in this series so far. They would surely want more runs from Evin Lewis if they want to restore some pride and end the series with a win. The bowling hasn’t been bad and has done pretty well in the two games they played in Florida. Both the new ball bowlers kept things tight and picked up wickets and the support bowling was decent as well. The biggest positive for West Indies is the form of Keiron Pollard who has looked in great touch with the bat.
Rohit Sharma (India): Rohit Sharma is India’s best T20 player by a distance and he showed how good he can be with his 67 in the second T20I. He once again is crucial in the final game as well as India continue to struggle with the middle order.
Krunal Pandya (India): Krunal Pandya has been India’s best spinner in this series. He has not only bowled well but also has scored some important runs with the bat lower down the order. He will once again play a crucial role in Guyana where the pitch is expected to aid spin.
Keiron Pollard (West Indies): Kieron Pollard has been the spark in a struggling West Indies batting line up in this series so far. He scored a very good 49 in the first game and was unbeaten in the second when the rain came down. He will be expected to guide his team with the bat again in the final T20I.
Oshane Thomas (West Indies): Oshane Thomas not only has the pace but also has great variations as he showed in the first couple of games of the series. He bowled brilliantly in both the games and has been the stand out performer for the hosts so far in the series along with Sheldon Cottrell.
Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant, Krunal Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Washington Sundar, Navdeep Saini, K Khaleel Ahmed, Lokesh Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Rahul Chahar
John Campbell, Evin Lewis, Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Kieron Pollard, Rovman Powell, Carlos Brathwaite, Sunil Narine, Keemo Paul, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas, Jason Mohammed, Anthony Bramble, Khary Pierre
What they said?
“Winning is always going to be a priority. But sealing the series gives the chance to bring few guys in. The idea is always going to be to win first. But winning the first two games gives the cushion… Haven’t played in Guyana before, great opportunity to experience how it’s going to be like,” Said Virat Kohli, hinting at changes in the Indian XI for the final game.
“We think this Indian team is beatable and it’s just for us to string together good performances to show people that,” said Rovman Powell after their loss in the second T20I.
Both these teams will be looking for some experimentation in the final game as the series has already been decided. India might try out different personnel in the middle order and might give Rahul Chahar a go with the ball as one of the spinners. West Indies, on the other hand, will look to get a little bit more out of their experienced hands in the final game to finish the series 2-1 which will be a huge boost for their confidence in the context of the series.