West Indies vs India 4th & 5th T20I: Preview and Prediction￼
Captain Rohit Sharma had to walk off the field after being affected by a Back spasm. He didn’t take part in the entire match thereon and was sent for scans to check his medical conditions. Now, a back spasm isn’t a major injury. But the extent to which it can affect will only be known on the match day.
Between the 3rd and 4th T20I, India had a good 3 days break. This should ideally give Rohit a good time to recover. But will Rohit risk his health for a meaningless bilateral series? Well, this would be a big question going into the 4th T20I.
The action will now shift to the U.S.A. as the 4th and 5th T20I between India and West Indies will be played at Lauderhill in the US. The Lauderhill ground has mixed memories for the Indian team. They have played 4 matches here; all T20Is. Of these four, India has won two, lost one, and one ended with no result. The 2016 match was an epic encounter where more than 480 runs were scored in the match.
Team India’s biggest question on display would be, can Rohit Sharma get fit before the 4th T20I? Well, technically India shouldn’t risk Rohit even if he has recovered. The current T20I series is a meaningless affair. A fit Rohit would be needed for the most important Asia Cup 2022. So, if Rohit doesn’t play, Ishan Kishan should take his place as an opener.
For the middle-order, India should play the same trio of Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, and Hardik Pandya. Even as Shreyas Iyer has been in extremely poor form in T20Is, India might give him a couple of more chances to prove his mettle. This has been India’s philosophy, so expect it to not change just after 1-2 bad matches.
Apart from this, India will see Harshal Patel returning to the playing 11 instead of Avesh Khan. Harshal had missed the first three T20Is due to a Rib injury. However, he is expected to be fit by the fourth T20I. This would make India’s death bowling strongest with Harshal, Arshdeep Singh, and Bhuvi in the ranks.
The rest of the playing 11 should remain the same. So, we have Suryakumar Yadav opening with Ishan Kishan. Deepak Hooda and Dinesh Karthik will play as finishers. Whereas Ravichandran Ashwin should continue to lead the spin attack for Team India. Meanwhile, in Rohit Sharma’s absence, Hardik Pandya should captain the Indian team.
What have they done so far?
Team India made a good comeback after losing the second T20I. Even though Rohit Sharma was retired hurt due to a back spasm after facing just 5 balls, Suryakumar Yadav finally had his time to shine as an opener as he smacked 76 runs off 44 balls while chasing 165.
Shreyas Iyer continued his disappointing run in T20Is as he scored 24 runs off 27 deliveries while Rishabh Pant remained not out for 33 runs in 26 balls as India crossed the finish line with 7 wickets and one over remaining.
Arshdeep Singh has been consistent in his bowling, particularly in the death overs, and is the highest wicket-taker for team India in the ongoing series with 4 wickets to his name in 3 matches. Ashwin and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have registered themselves amongst wickets while Hardik Pandya has provided crucial breakthroughs with the ball in hand. India’s concern would be Avesh Khan who has given away 78 runs in 5.2 overs in this series till now.
West Indies’ batting strengthened after the 1st T20I as Brandon King joined the team and scored a fifty in the 2nd T20I. In the third T20I, his opening partner Kyle Mayers stepped up as he smacked 73 runs off 50 balls with 8 fours & 4 sixes, taking his team to a fighting total. Explosive batters Nicholas Pooran and Shimron Hetmyer would have to step up to take on Indian bowlers and level the series in the 4th T20I.
Indian batters have had trouble against left-arm pacers, and West Indies’ Obed McCoy has perfectly exploited this weakness. McCoy has taken 7 wickets in the 3 T20Is including a 5-fer. Along with McCoy, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein and Alzarri Joseph will take on the Indian batting to level the series.
Head to Head Record
India has been dominant over West Indies when it comes to men’s T20I internationals. The two sides have played each other 22 times in the format and the Men in Blue have been victorious in 15 of those games. Windies, meanwhile, has won six of the encounters played between the two sides. One game has also been abandoned between the two sides that were played in the United States.
Things are even the same when it comes to head to head records in the United States. Here also the visitors have an upper edge over the hosts. Whilst West Indies have won one game against the Men in Blue in the States, the visitors have registered two wins out of four games. One game has been abandoned between the two times in the country though.
Predicted Playing XI
West Indies: Kyle Mayers, Brandon King, Nicholas Pooran (C), Shimron Hetmyer, Rovman Powell, Devon Thomas (WK), Jason Holder, Dominic Drakes, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Obed McCoy
India: Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (WK), Hardik Pandya (C), Deepak Hooda, Dinesh Karthik, Ravichandran Ashwin, Harshal Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Arshdeep Singh
Shimron Hetmyer (West Indies): Shimron Hetmyer has had an underwhelming series thus far, with scores of 20, 6 and 14 in the three outings respectively, with him too, having struggled a fair bit against spin.
One of West Indies’ key players in the build-up to the T20 World Cup 2022, Hetmyer would be keen to hit his best, and no better chance to do it than with a series on the line against a top-ranked T20I side.
Hardik Pandya (India): Hardik Pandya has been one of the most improved white-ball cricketers in recent times, with the all-rounder offering assurance on either front more than ever before. After leading the side to a 2-0 series win in Ireland, Hardik produced a Player of the Match performance in the first of three T20Is against England last month, with 51 (33) and 4/33, and has carried that run in the ongoing series.
He has conceded just 53 runs from the 10 overs bowled thus far while having dismissed Kyle Mayers and Brandon King. He might have a significant role to play with the bat at a venue likely to aid high scores.
Recent form, both individually and as a team, places India as clear favourites for the competition. The West Indies’ five-wicket victory in the second T20I of the ongoing series was one of only two victories in the 15 head-to-head matches between the two sides since 2018.
India has won two of their three completed games in Lauderhill, Florida, with the lone defeat coming by a narrow one-run margin six years ago in a failed run-chase of 246. Expect the visitors to win the series on Saturday, giving them another opportunity to experiment with their bench strength.
However, the quality in the West Indies camp cannot be overlooked, and one individual brilliance could be enough to square the series and set up an exciting decider.