After a thumping victory in the first T20I, India were blown away by West Indies in the second T20I played at Thiruvananthapuram. Now both the teams arrive at Mumbai to resolve the deadlock of 1-1 each. Virat Kohli was critical of poor fielding performance in the previous match whereas West Indies took heart from their excellent bowling outing and destructive batting. The scales are in the balance going into the decisive T20I at Wankhede.
India’s shoddy fielding
Usually lauded for their excellent fitness and athleticism, the Indian team has struggled on the field in this series. In the first T20I India dropped four catches whereas two catches were shelled in the second game. Captain Kohli made his feeling public in the post-match presentation by saying, “If you field like that, no total is good enough”. In the third and final T20I, the home side will get another chance to prove their fielding prowess.
The last time they met
India and West Indies last locked horns at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on 31st March 2016, this remains their only encounter at this ground. In the T20I World Cup semi-final, West Indies chased down 193 runs against India and went on to clinch the World title. Kohli top-scored in this game with a score of 89 not out.
Numbers to look out for:
The Indian team management tends to be rigid when it comes to frequent changes in the personnel. Captain Kohli may well choose to trust the same set of players and go into the final encounter without any novelty. Shreyas Iyer’s struggle at number four is a concern while Sanju Samson is still waiting for his opportunity. India can also look at adding a pace option in Mohammed Shami who has been in a spectacular bowling form this season.
Kieron Pollard left out Denesh Ramdin in the second T20I to accommodate Nicholas Pooran. The replacement scored 38 not out from 18 balls to seal his spot for the final match. After the eight-wicket victory in the previous game, West Indies are not likely to tinker with their winning combination.