West Indies vs India, 5th T20I Preview: India look to close out finale with another grand performance
Four matches into the five-match series, it has started to look more of a mismatch with India having taken an unassailable 3-1 lead and assured of a series victory.
Team Series Stats
West Indies did win the 2nd T20 International by 5 wickets but other than that, it has been India all the way. Not only the wins, but it is the margin of wins which has been especially encouraging for India as they are not at full strength and are still finding it almost a walk in the park to win matches, which goes to show the health of Indian cricket and the bench strength.
The team cleaned up the first T20 International by 68 runs no less and registered wins by 7 wickets and 59 runs in the 3rd and the 4th T20 International respectively.
That is despite them being in experiment mode and trying out new players in different positions.
India going all out
The 4th T20I - the first one of the series to be played at Lauderhill, Florida - saw India stick to their ultragressive approach with Rohit Sharma and Suryakumar Yadav going bonkers in the powerplay.
The result was that when Rohit Sharma was finally dismissed on the fourth ball of the fifth over, India had already crossed the 50 run mark. Although India slowed down in the middle overs slightly, a late burst from Axar Patel and a few fireworks from Rishabh Pant in the middle meant that the visitors were successful in posting a total of over 190, which was certainly above par on that ground.
Alzarri Joseph was the pick of the bowlers for West Indies and took two wickets while being economical. All the talk of India being vulnerable against left arm pacers took a back seat as Obed McCoy conceded 66 runs from his 4 overs.
Although McCoy picked up two wickets, it wasn't any consolation. Interestingly, McCoy now has both the best and the worst bowling figures for West Indies in T20 Internationals, both of which have come in this series. He took 6 wickets while conceding just 17 runs in the 2nd T20I to record the best figures but leaked 66 runs in the 4th T20I to register the worst figures by a West Indian bowler in T20 Internationals.
Series Bowling Stats
Kuldeep, Kishan likely to play
West Indies have Odean Smith, Keemo Paul, Shamarh Brooks, Romario Shepherd and Hayden Walsh on the bench but are unlikely to make too many changes apart from Keemo Paul coming in if fit.
With Harshal Patel ruled out due to injury, India have Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Hardik Pandya, Shreyas Iyer and Ravichandran Ashwin on the bench at the moment.
The visitors tried out Sanju Samson, Axar Patel and Ravi Bishnoi in the 4th match and all of them delivered. It is almost an unwritten code in this Rohit Sharma-Rahul Dravid combine that all players who haven't got a game in the series generally get the nod in the final match if India win the series. Going by that logic, Kuldeep Yadav and Ishan Kishan should play in this match.
Despite all the chopping and changing and the youngsters getting opportunities, expect India to take the series 4-1.
Series Batting Stats
Predicted Playing XIs
West Indies - Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Nicholas Pooran (c), Rovman Powell, Shimron Hetmyer, Devon Thomas (wk), Jason Holder, Dominic Drakes/Keemo Paul, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Obed McCoy
India - Rohit Sharma (c), Ishan Kishan, Rishabh Pant (wk), Sanju Samson, Deepak Hooda, Dinesh Karthik, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh
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