India Mull Changes Ahead Of Deciding T20I
West Indies have the momentum going into the third and final T20I against India in Mumbai on December 11. The Calypso Kings came back strong in the second T20 and won convincingly by 8 wickets. They outplayed India in all three departments of the game.
However, the bookies are still backing India giving them odds of 2/5 while the West Indies have odds of 9/4. Kieron Pollard will not mind the underdog tag. It seeems to bring out the best in him as a player and as a captain. West Indies have a great chance of pulling off victory in Mumbai as they found the right team balance.
India played the same team in both T20s. It is time they make a few changes in order to give themselves a better chance of winning the match and the series.
Yadav For Sundar In Spinner Selection
The first change they should think about making is dropping Washington Sundar. Now he hasn’t bowled badly in the first two games but he hasn’t picked up wickets either. More importantly, the young man has dropped crucial catches in both games and India cannot afford to have that happen in the third T20.
An ideal replacement for him will be Kuldeep Yadav whose left arm wrist spin will provide a new challenge to the West Indian batsman who are not very troubled by the mild off-spin from Sundar. Yadav may not be the most agile Indian fielder but has shown in the past that he is a wicket taker – which is what India need to run through the powerful West Indian batting line-up.
Samson For Pant As India Seek Stability
Given the faith the selectors have showed in Rishabh Pant, it is unlikely they are going to make the change. The ideal time to have replaced Pant was in the second T20. It would have given Sanju Samson the opportunity to play at home in conditions where he has thrived.
Pant has scored 18 and 33* in the first two games but does not look settled at the crease. India cannot afford to back Pant and have him fail in a crucial game. He also dropped a catch in the second T20. It is time for the selectors to try out Samson who may not have the power of Pant but certainly has more class and timing.
Shami For Chahar In The Pace Department
There is not a lot of difference in the bowling styles of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Deepak Chahar. And that is why the selectors should think about replacing Chahar with the experienced Mohammad Shami. Chahar had a poor game in the first T20I conceding 56 runs and taking just 1 wicket. In the second, he gave away 35 runs and went wicketless.
With no Jasprit Bumrah in the side, India needs the experience of both Kumar and Shami. And this means Chahar needs to be dropped.
Apart from these three changes, the Indian think-tank should stick to the batting order. If they do decide to play R Pant, then they need to let S Iyer play ahead of Pant. If the selectors continue to back an out of form Pant at 4, and keep Sundar and Chahar in the side, it could work in favour of the West Indies.
The biggest threat to the West Indies come in the form of Rohit Sharma who loves playing in Mumbai and Virat Kohli who will want to lead from the front and win the series!