India vs West Indies, 3rd T20I Preview: Explosive Windies look for consolation win in last match of tour
With India having already taken an unassailable lead, the West Indian power-hitters now have the licence to go all guns blazing.
Having played the first match of their tour of India on February 6, West Indies are yet to open their account. After losing the three match ODI series by 3-0, they have now lost the three match T20 Series 2-0, going into the final match of the series.
That said, West Indies have played some good cricket and will want to end their tour with a victory.
A hard-fought encounter
West Indies finally called right and got to chase at the Eden Gardens which saw a lot of dew from 8 p.m. IST onwards. However, the extra 10-15 runs that the Indian batters got meant that West Indies fell just short of the target.
It was a strange innings from India as Rohit Sharma, who is generally so easy on the eye, played a lot of shots but did not connect a lot, ultimately getting dismissed off Roston Chase for an almost run-a-ball 19.
Ishan Kishan continued to struggle. Fortunately for India, Virat Kohli came out all guns blazing in a completely new avatar and started off quite briskly to take the pressure off Rohit Sharma.
However, as wickets continued to fall around him, he decided to deal in singles and doubles. When the stage was set for him to explode, Kohli was dismissed by Roston Chase shortly after reaching his half-century.
A brilliant partnership between number 5 Rishabh Pant and number 6 Venkatesh Iyer meant and that India posted a slightly above par total.
Roston Chase was outstanding for West Indies once again and took 3 wickets while conceding just 25 runs from his four overs. Sheldon Cottrell was also quite economical and swung the ball lavishly in the powerplay.
Pooran, Powell impress
Brandon King and Kyle Mayers chewed up a lot of deliveries for the opening partnership. As a result, Nicholas Pooran and Rovman Powell not only had to stabilize the innings after West Indies lost two quick wickets but also needed to improve the pace.
They almost pulled it off, with Pooran making 62 off 41 deliveries with 5 fours and 3 sixes at a strike rate of close to 150. However, he was dismissed at the wrong time as West Indies fell short by just eight runs.
Kieron Pollard could not do anything extraordinary off the three deliveries he faced. Rovman Powell though was a revelation and remained unbeaten on 68 off 36 deliveries and despite Bhuvneshwar Kumar dropped a caught and bowled chance off him, Powell was sensational and struck 4 boundaries and 5 sixes at a strike rate of almost 190 and showed what he is capable of.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal and Ravi Bishnoi were the economical bowlers for India while Deepak Chahar and Harshal Patel got some tap.
Not many changes
India might want to try out Avesh Khan or Kuldeep Yadav with the series already decided. However, a lot of changes in both sides are not expected.
Ruturaj Gaikwad is also waiting in the wings after some brilliant performances in the IPL and domestic cricket, but it is probably sensible to give Ishan Kishan this game and then try out Gaikwad in the 3 T20Is against Sri Lanka.
Predicted playing XIs
India - Rohit Sharma (c), Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Venkatesh Iyer, Harshal Patel, Deepak Chahar/Avesh Khan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ravi Bishnoi, Yuzvendra Chahal/Kuldeep Yadav
West Indies - Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Rovman Powell, Roston Chase, Kieron Pollard (c), Jason Holder, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Akeal Hosein, Sheldon Cottrell
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