After losing the second T20I against West Indies, India is all set to lock horns in the series decider at Wankhede Stadium, tomorrow. Will the Men in Blue succeed in thrashing the visitors.
Well, looking at the last two T20Is’ performances, it is difficult to say who will have the driver’s seat in this game. One thing, however, is clear that this pivotal match is going to be enthralling.
In the first T20I, West Indies scored 207 runs and it seemed that India might fall short of this target. The performance of Virat Kohli, however, helped the Men in Blue in chasing down the total with eight balls left. The Indian skipper 94 runs and got great support from KL Rahul who scored 62 runs in the match.
The second T20I saw a different result as India were completely outplayed by the Windies in all departments. A quick fifty from Shivam Dube and 33 runs not out inning Rishabh Pant helped India in reaching a respectable total of 170 runs.
The casual attitude of Indian players on the pitch resulted in two dropped catches in the one over of Bhuvneshwar Kumar. This mistake of India cost them the game as Lendl Simmons went on to score 67 runs and kept his team alive in the series.
The last T20I series between the two sides took place in the West Indies around four months back. The Men in Blue clean-sweep the home side in a three-match T20Is series. The Indian skipper will be expecting the same kind of performance from his side, tomorrow. The current form of Windies, however, can create a problem for India.
INDIA: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (C), Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (WK), Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, and Yuzvendra Chahal.
WEST INDIES: Lendl Simmons, Evin Lewis, Brandon King, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicolas Pooran (WK), Kieron Pollard (C), Jason Holder, Khary Pierre, Kesrick Williams, Hayden Walsh and Sheldon Cottrell.
Virat Kohli vs Kesrick Williams
This series is no more about India vs West Indies, it is more about the battle between Virat Kohli and Kesrick Williams. This battle started during the T20I in 2017. Williams checks Kohli in his notebook celebration after picking the Indian skipper wicket.
Kohli gave a fitting reply to the Windies bowler in the 16th over of the first T20I. The Indian skipper fired the ball out of the park and mimicked Williams’ signature celebration of ticking the player’s name in the notebook.
The Windies bowler, however, picked Kohli’s wicket in the second T20I and this time he didn’t celebrate the wicket with his notebook celebration. Instead, he did keep his finger on his mouth. Was this a reply to the Indian skipper because Kohli’s quite famous for a similar celebration. We don’t know whether Williams did it intentionally or just for fun, however, this celebration has made the third T20I more interesting.
The Indian skipper has turned into a run machine and this gesture of Williams might cost him and his side. Kohli was one of the prime reasons why the Windies bowler went for 60 runs without a wicket in his four-over spell in the first T20I.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar vs Lendl Simmons
The return of Bhuvneshwar Kumar hasn’t been fruitful for him or India so far in this series. The Indian pacer had a brilliant chance of picking Lendl Simmons and his first wicket of the series in the first T20I. Washington Sundar, however, dropped the catch and the Windies batsman went on to win the match for his side.
Simmons became prey to Deepak Chahar in the first T20I, however, after getting lifeline in the second match the Windies opener made no other mistake. The Windies batsman is the key player for his side as the visitors depend on a good start that will boost the confidence of other players in the squad.
Once again, Bhuvneshwar will be up against Simmons tomorrow. It will be interesting to see who gets better of whom this time around. The Indian pacer will use his swing bowling to get rid of Simmons early in the game. The Windies opener, on the other hand, will try to stay as long as possible on the crease because if he stays then Windies will surely return home with the victory.
The match is going to be played in Mumbai, which means we can expect great support for the Men in Blue. The pitch is going to support batsman and with the powerful hitters in the two sides, we can expect a high scoring game.
The team chasing will still have a chance of winning the match as the wicket won’t slow down. Also, it all depends on which side will give their best on the field.
The match can go in any direction but keeping the form of Kohli and Rahul in mind. Cricwizz believes that India will clinch this match and the series against the visitors. One of the prime reasons for this prediction is the recent T20I series defeat (2-1) of Windies against Afghanistan in India.