rohit sharma
Rohit Sharma (AFP Photo)

With the series already in their grasp, experimentation will be on the mind of India as they prepare for the third and final T20I against West Indies. The hosts have continued with their winning ways on the current tour with comprehensive victories in the first two T20Is in Kolkata and Lucknow. The visitors were expected to offer a close fight considering their pedigree in the shortest format. But all predictions have been thrown out of the window as the current World T20 champions have been unable to build up on the promise they showed during the preceding ODI series which they lost 1-3.

For India, the tour of Australia takes priority now with the Windies tour nearing its end. So they have rested their frontline bowlers Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav and Umesh Yadav to keep them fresh for the Australia tour. Siddarth Kaul has been the new addition to the squad for the third and final T20I to be played in Chennai on Sunday.

The luxury of having pocketed the series gives India a chance to test their bench and consequently, considering the woeful form of Windies, provides a great platform for the fringe players to make an impression. For the Carlos Brathwaite-led side, they have nothing to lose from here and their aim would be to finish the tour on a high.

Venue: MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai

Time: 07:00 pm IST

Weather: Partly Cloudy, high of 31 degrees Celsius

Team News

India
Bumrah has been rested so Kaul should get a game and alongside Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Khaleel Ahmed will form the pace attack. Yuzvendra Chahal should also walk into the playing XI replacing Kuldeep. Shreyas Iyer could add to his 6 T20Is with Manish Pandey making way for him in the middle-order.

The top-three in the batting order are sorted. KL Rahul showed form with an unbeaten 26 off 14 in Lucknow as India posted a challenging total. MS Dhoni voluntarily made way for Rishabh Pant but the youngster has so far flattered to deceive with scores of 1 and 5 in two innings. While there seems to be no imminent danger to his place in the XI right now, scoring runs before the Australian tour will put him in a positive space.

Probable XI: 1. Rohit Sharma (captain), 2. Shikhar Dhawan, 3. KL Rahul 4. Shreyas Iyer, 5. Dinesh Karthik (wk), 6. Rishabh Pant, 7. Krunal Pandya, 8. Yuzvendra Chahal, 9. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10. Khaleel Ahmed, 11. Siddarth Kaul

West Indies
West Indies team had a long net sessions on Friday. Skipper Carlos Brathwaite knows where his team needs massive improvement. He has pointed out batters have to step up who have failed twice while their opponents have flourished. They could be missing their several first-choice players but the backup options are no slouch. The likes of Darren Bravo, Kieron Pollard and Brathwaite himself are proven T20 performers. Time for them to step up and deliver. For them, the emergence of right-arm pacer Oshane Thomas, who has received high praises from Sunil Gavaskar, has been a positive though.

Probable XI: 1. Shai Hope, 2. Shimron Hetmyer, 3. Darren Bravo, 4. Denesh Ramdin (wk), 5. Nicholas Pooran, 6. Kieron Pollard, 7. Carlos Brathwaite, 8. Fabian Allen, 9. Keemo Paul, 10. Khary Pierre, 11. Oshane Thomas

Statistics
Rohit Sharma needs 69 runs to overtake Martin Guptill as the highest run-getter in T20Is

Quotes

“It’s a big help if you are a part of the IPL. You’re already sharing dressing rooms with a lot of international players and hence you’re constantly learning. So, when you come into the Indian team you have already [played like] a professional.” – Khaleel Ahmed

“We have a young team and I guess we are trying to find our feet. Let’s not forget that we played against a formidable Indian team. We have a bunch of youngsters, who haven’t had much international exposure. With time they will improve.” – Carlos Brathwaite