West Indies vs India, 3rd T20I Preview: India's aggressive approach gives West Indies an opportunity to take lead
India have shown that they will not shy away from an odd defeat in order to throw young players into the deep end.
The series may not have been won yet but the experimentation continues for India. While they fielded Rishabh Pant at the top of the order in the England series, the team has decided to promote Suryakumar Yadav as the opening partner of Rohit Sharma in this series.
Perhaps, they don't want to fiddle with the batting positions of Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja and Dinesh Karthik who bat at 4, 5, 6 and 7 respectively.
Shreyas Iyer is currently batting at number 3 but might not be a part of India's first-choice playing XI. Once KL Rahul and Virat Kohli come back, two positions in the top 3 will have to be vacated.
When it comes to the bowling, the experimentation continues in that department as well, with India trying out Ravi Bishnoi in the first T20 International and Avesh Khan in the second match.
India want to have a look at youngsters, so much so that they don't mind conceding a loss in the process. With West Indies requiring 10 off the last over in the 2nd T20I, India were still very much in the game and Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowling against a struggling Devon Thomas could have turned the tables in India's favour.
However, the team decided to place the responsibility on the shoulders of Avesh Khan and throw him into the deep end. The move did not come off as Avesh conceded 10 runs within the first two deliveries including a no ball as well.
Be that as it may, India are fulfilling the purpose of the series in the build up to the T20 World Cup in Australia as they will have their options sorted out by the time the showpiece event arrives.
West Indies on the other hand made a couple of changes to their playing XI in the last match. Shamrah Brooks and Keemo Paul were out and opening batter Brandon King and wicketkeeper batsman Devon Thomas got the nod.
India gave a taste of the ultra aggressive cricket they are going to play going ahead in the second T20 International, especially after they were three down within the powerplay. The players did not stop attacking and the score read 56/3 after the powerplay which included 5 sixes and one boundary.
Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja and Rishabh Pant played cameos but a late collapse meant that India could only manage 138.
King reins, McCoy shines
Obed McCoy was the wrecker in chief who dismissed the Indian openers and then came back to clean up the lower middle order, picking up 3 wickets in the 19th over to record the best figures for West Indies in T20 International cricket and the best figures by any bowler in T20Is against India.
Brandon King gave West Indies a brilliant start in pursuit of the modest total and made 68 off just 52 balls with 8 boundaries and 2 sixes. The team should have achieved the target in a canter but courtesy of some indecisive batting and tight bowling from Arshdeep Singh and Ravindra Jadeja, the equation came down to 10 runs required off the final over when Avesh Khan could not execute his death bowling skills and India paid the price, losing the match by 5 wickets.
West Indies go equal 1-1 in the series, with both teams looking to take the lead in the third T20 which will be played less than 24 hours after the completion of the second one.
Predicted Playing XIs
West Indies - Kyle Mayers, Brandon King, Nicholas Pooran (c), Rovman Powell, Shimron Hetmyer, Devon Thomas (wk), Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Odean Smith, Alzarri Joseph, Obed McCoy
India - Rohit Sharma (c), Rishabh Pant (wk), Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, Avesh Khan/Harshal Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Arshdeep Singh
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