3rd T20I: India look to test bench strength, West Indies eye elusive win (preview)

With the series already in their kitty, India will look to experiment and test their bench strength when they take on West Indies in the third and final T20I at the Eden Gardens, here on Sunday.

Skipper Rohit Sharma has often stressed that the side wants to give certain players a consistent run but India will make at least two changes with Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant rested for the final match.

With the T20 World Cup scheduled in less than eight months in Australia, the Indian team has been trying to build as many options as possible for every possible slot. In the absence of KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan opened the innings for India along with Rohit Sharma. However, he has failed to impress with his batting performances and struggled against both fast and spin bowling.

Ishan, who was picked by Mumbai Indians for a whopping Rs 15.25 crore in the IPL mega auction recently has crawled to scores of 35 off 42 and 2 off 10 balls so far in the series. In his place, Ruturaj Gaikwad, who last played a T20I in July 2021, could be given a chance in the last match

In the middle-order, Shreyas Iyer is likely to replace Kohli. Other middle batters Suryakumar Yadav, Venkatesh Iyer have done quite well and the team will look to give them a continued run.

In the absence of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami, Harshal Patel has shown his death-bowling expertise, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar proved he still had it in him, and Ravi Bishnoi bagged wickets with an economy under six in both games combined. It remains to be seen whether India will make any change in their bowling attack. They have Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Siraj, Avesh Khan and Kuldeep Yadav as options.

On the other hand, the Windies are yet to win a match in the ongoing tour of India, having lost the preceding ODI series 0-3.

In the opening game, the Kieron Pollard-led side lost its footing after a good powerplay and could post only 157. In the second, they were chasing in dewy conditions but left too much for the end by posting just 41 runs in the powerplay and 73 in the first ten and eventually lost the game.

However, the likes of Rovman Powell, Nicholas Pooran have impressed with their batting performance. The visitors have also not found much support from their sixth bowler, possibly because they have played only two frontline bowlers and the rest of the job rests with their numerous all-rounders.

West Indies were also beaten in the boundary count by the hosts and that is one area Pollard’s men will look to get better in order to avoid the whitewash.


India (squad): Ishan Kishan w), Rohit Sharma(c), Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Venkatesh Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Avesh Khan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ravi Bishnoi

West Indies (squad): Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Nicholas Pooran (w), Rovman Powell, Kieron Pollard(c), Jason Holder, Fabian Allen, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Akeal Hosein, Sheldon Cottrell, Dominic Drakes, Darren Bravo, Shai Hope, Roston Chase, Hayden Walsh


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