West Indies vs India 3rd T20I: Preview and Prediction
The Caribbean underdogs have blasted off the highest-ranked T20I side in the ongoing bilateral contest and are on the verge of securing a much-needed series win on home soil. As it now comes down to the third fixture where Men in Blue will be stepping out on the battlefield to keep themselves alive in the five-match competition. The Providence Stadium situation in Guyana will be hosting the forthcoming third fixture between the hosts West Indies and India on Tuesday.
The Indian head coach Rahul Dravid will be urged to make use of all available resources on the field as one more defeat will take all of their chances of retaining the trophy away. Ravi Bishnoi who was included in the playing XI for the second T20I could not capitalize on the opportunity and remained the only wicketless bowler from the Blues’ camp. Hence, the 22-year-old is expected to be replaced by the spin-wizard Kuldeep Yadav.
Powell’s strategy of fielding the bowling lineup consisting of four pacers and only one specialist spinner has done wonders for the Caribbeans. Following the triumphant outing in the opening clash, Windies named an unchanged playing XI for the second T20I and are likely to do the same for the forthcoming match as well.
What have they done so far?
The Men in Blue kick-started their Caribbean tour with a thumping win in the opening Dominica Test and proceeded to clinch the red-ball saga followed by an ODI series triumph.
However, the Asian giants could not sustain further their dominance over the Windies in the shortest format and have now found themselves in a do-or-die circumstance. Despite leading Team India to 50-over success, skipper Hardik Pandya is unable to replicate the same in the shorter format and has been criticized for certain on-field decisions.
On the other hand, Windies’ constant diligent efforts could not bring them closer to the trophies earlier but it seems like it is finally paying off in the latter stages. The Men in Maroon landed in despair after losing the ODI series decider clash with a whopping deficit of 200 runs at Tarouba. However, the skipper Rovman Powell who was earlier dropped from the ODI side stood up and turned the tables and led them to consecutive victories.
Guyana wicket turned out to be a tough task for the batter to pluck runs in the most recent fixture as we witnessed the star-studded Indian batting lineup manage to put up the first-innings total of only 152 on the board.
Meanwhile, the Windies’ attack was also hurled by a top-order collapse which was eventually covered up by a 67-run partnership for the fourth wicket from Powell and Pooran. Both of them could not extend their stay at the crease for longer but the home team still eventually chased down the target having two wickets to spare.
Head to Head record
The first-ever 20-over face-off between these two combatants was staged at the Super 8 round of the 2009 ICC World T20 where the Windies emerged victorious. India has never looked back since then and registered 17 victories over the Caribbean counterparts who are currently standing on 9 wins.
Interestingly, Windies’ three out of nine wins have come out at the world stage where the stakes were much higher compared to bilateral encounters. If they are able to win yet another match, India can become the third nation after England and Australia against whom the Men in Maroon have registered double-digit T20I triumphs.
The skipper Rovman Powell and his boys have a golden chance to edge out Men in Blues in a bilateral contest consisting of three or more games for the first time.
Nicholas Pooran: The 27-year-old Trinidadian batter is leading the run-scoring charts of this series having scored 108 runs at an astonishing average of 54 in two innings. His 67-run stand in the second T20I played a pivotal role in the successful run-chase as he was also conferred with the Player of the Match award for his heroics. Pooran has been in phenomenal form since being instated as the MI New York captain and will be eyeing to hunt another trophy in a span of a week.
Yuzvendra Chahal: Over time, the 33-year-old leggie had established himself as the most consistent Indian spinner in the shortest format. Chahal was brought into the attack inside powerplay in the opening T20I where dismissed both Windies openers and gave a flying start to his side. He was then assigned a crucial 16th over in the following game where his two dismissals and a run-out sent the hosts on the back foot.
West Indies: Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Johnson Charles, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Rovman Powell ©, Shimron Hetmyer, Romario Shepherd, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Obed McCoy
India: Ishan Kishan (wk), Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav, Tilak Varma, Hardik Pandya ©, Sanju Samson, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mukesh Kumar
For the first time in this three-format tour, the hosts West Indies are going to grace the battlefield as favorites to win the ongoing contest. It will be quite difficult for the skipper Hardik Pandya and his boys to stage a comeback from these circumstances as they will have to register victories in the remaining all three fixtures.