Match Preview – India vs West Indies, West Indies in India 2021/22, 3rd T20I


With Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant skipping the dead-rubber, India can give a chance to Ruturaj Gaikwad and Shreyas Iyer

Big picture

India will be mighty pleased with their gains from the 2-0 lead they have over West Indies, in the lead up to the T20 World Cup later this year in Australia. Their top order – including Virat Kohli – got off the blocks quicker, Suryakumar Yadav cemented his place further in the middle, Venkatesh Iyer provided the finishing touches India expected from him, Harshal Patel showed his death-bowling expertise, Bhuvneshwar Kumar proved he still had it in him, and Ravi Bishnoi bagged wickets with an economy under six in both games combined.

With Kohli and Rishabh Pant skipping the dead-rubber on Sunday, India can now also give a chance to Ruturaj Gaikwad, who last played a T20I in July 2021, and Shreyas Iyer, on his new IPL home ground.
West Indies, still winless on the tour, looked like they had narrowed the gap between the two teams on Friday night but they still need to smoothen some edges. In the opening game, they lost their footing after a good powerplay and could post only 157. In the second, they were chasing in dewy conditions but left too much for the end by posting just 41 runs in the powerplay and 73 in the first ten.

They have also not found much support from their sixth bowler, possibly because they have played only two frontline bowlers and the rest of the job rests with their numerous allrounders. It made India’s chasing job easier when they needed 65 from eight overs in the opening game; in the second, they hammered 98 off the last eight.

Form guide

India WWWWW (last five completed T20Is, most recent first)
West Indies LLWLW

In the spotlight

Ishan Kishan was supposed to give India rapid starts they had been missing in T20Is. But in the two games so far, Kishan has struggled against both fast and spin bowling. Not against pace and turn, but while facing Sheldon Cottrell’s swing early on and then Roston Chase’s stifling lines from around the wicket in the middle overs. The man who went for a whopping INR 15.25 crore (approx USD 2 million) in the IPL mega auction recently has crawled to scores of 35 off 42 and 2 off 10 balls so far.
Roston Chase, on the other hand, went unsold at the auction but has put up performances with the ball India may not have expected from him in this format. He got a chance in the XI in the first place only because Jason Holder wasn’t fit but retained his place with 2 for 14 from four overs, dismissing Rohit Sharma and Kishan, following it with 3 for 25 with the wickets of Rohit, Suryakumar and Kohli. With five wickets and an economy rate of just 4.87 in the series, West Indies have got a solid quota of four overs in the middle overs, against both right- and left-hand batters.

Team news

With Kohli and Pant not available for the third game, India can now pick Shreyas and Gaikwad and even try Deepak Hooda in place of Venkatesh. How they change their bowling attack with the series in the bag remains to be seen. They have Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj, Avesh Khan and Kuldeep Yadav as options.

India (probable): 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Ruturaj Gaikwad, 3 Shreyas Iyer, 4 Suryakumar Yadav, 5 Ishan Kishan (wk), 6 Venkatesh Iyer/Deepak Hooda, 7 Harshal Patel, 8 Deepak Chahar/Shardul Thakur, 9 Ravi Bishnoi, 10 Bhuvneshwar Kumar/Mohammed Siraj/Avesh Khan, 11 Yuzvendra Chahal/Kuldeep Yadav

West Indies came close on Friday night and don’t really need a change to their XI unless they want to try out players they haven’t so far, like Dominic Drakes and Hayden Walsh.

West Indies (probable): 1 Kyle Mayers, 2 Brandon King, 3 Nicholas Pooran (wk), 4 Rovman Powell, 5 Kieron Pollard (capt), 6 Jason Holder, 7 Roston Chase, 8 Romario Shepherd, 9 Odean Smith, 10 Akeal Hosein, 11 Sheldon Cottrell

Pitch and conditions

Evenings in Kolkata will continue to be pleasant with dew expected later on, which means the team winning the toss will likely chase again.

Stats and trivia

  • Yuzvendra Chahal needs one more wicket to become India’s sole highest wicket-taker in T20Is. He is currently joint on top with Jasprit Bumrah.
  • India have won six consecutive T20I series at home. The last series they lost was 2-0 to Australia in February 2019.
  • Across formats, India have now won 13 series in a row at home.
  • Vishal Dikshit is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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