Trinidad: In a massive setback, star India pacer Harshal Patel has been ruled out of the third T20I against West Indies. Notably, Harshal Patel has not played a single game in the T20I series due to a rib injury. The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) confirmed the news of Harshal being ruled out of the third T20I post the toss in the second T20I. “Harshal Patel has a rib injury and is unavailable for selection for the 2nd and 3rd T20I. He is being monitored by the BCCI medical team,” tweeted BCCI.
Harshal has been a champion death bowler for India and his absence was clearly visible during the second T20I that India lost by five wickets. The team could only post 138 on the board after Obed McCoy’s sensational bowling performance which saw him take six wickets.
West Indies got off to a good start during the chase but India pulled things back with a few wickets in the middle overs. The equation came down to 27 off the last three and 10 off the final over. Avesh Khan was given the responsibility of bowling the last over but he conceded a six and a boundary of the first two balls to end a disappointing game.
Had Harshal been part of the game, things could have been different for India. Meanwhile, Rohit Sharma also made a surprising call when he handed the ball to Avesh Khan despite Bhuvneshwar Kumar having two overs left in his spell. Justifying his decision, Rohit said that trying out Avesh Khan in the death was a strategy to check how he can perform in these situations.
“We know what Bhuvi does for us; he has been doing it for years. Unless you give chances to guys like Avesh and Arshdeep you’ll never know. But it is just one game. They have the skills and the talent and it is all about backing them,” said Rohit.
Meanwhile, the loss has ended India’s winning streak on the West Indies tour. India had won the ODI series 3-0 before winning the first T20. The third T20I will be played on August 2.