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Ind vs WI, 3rd T20I: India to lock horns with West Indies in series decider



Mumbai: With the series tied at 1-1, both India and West Indies will aim to come out with the final punch and outclass each other when they battle it out in the third and final T20I set to be played at the Wankhede Stadium on Wednesday evening.

After winning the first T20I by a comprehensive six-wicket margin, Team India came out with a dismal performance in all the three departments in the Thiruvananthapuram game, especially while bowling and fielding.

The Indian batters have performed reasonably well in the first two matches of the series. However, it’s their fielding which has let the team down.

The players have been guilty of spilling catches on numerous occasions in both the matches, something which even skipper Virat Kohli is not happy with.

“If we field so poorly, no amount of runs will be enough. We were poor with the field in the last two games. We dropped two catches in one over,” Kohli said after the second T20I and thus would hope that his players come up with a better show in Mumbai.

Star Indian opener Rohit Sharma hasn’t fired in the first two games and he would be rearing to make an impact in his hometown. K.L. Rahul, Kohli and Shivam Dube, all have scored runs in the two matches and thus provide solidarity at the top.

However, what Team India desperately need at the moment is some firepower, both at the start and towards the end of their innings, especially considering they have not been able to defend successfully on many occasions in their recent matches.

The bowlers have been taken to task by big-hitting Windies batters and would have to come up with a better show if India are to clinch the trophy. Off-spinner Washington Sundar and under-fire wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant will once again remain under focus as they haven’t been able to deliver in the series so far.

For Pant who has been the talking point for quite some time now, things are only getting tougher.

Coming in at No.4, the 21-year-old made scores of 33 not out, 18, 6, 27, 19, 4 in the last seven T20Is that he has featured in.

Another thing that would be interesting to see is whether the team management persists with Sundar — who has taken only three wickets in the last five T20s that he has played and leaked 144 runs in 23 overs that he bowled — or gives left-arm chinaman Kuldeep Yadav a game.

Sundar has taken only three wickets in the last five T20s that he has played (two against West Indies and three against Bangladesh) and leaked 144 runs in 23 overs that he bowled.

For the visitors, it would be all about continuing with what they have been doing in the first two matches. The batters have scored runs. Lendl Simmons, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran and Evin Lewis — all have scored runs at a brisk pace and have been hitting Indian bowlers to all part of the grounds.

Their bowlers, including pacer Sheldon Cottrell, are among the wickets and with Kesrick Williams, leg-spinner Hayden Walsh Jr and Holder, the visitors will have to bowl in the right areas to stem the flow of runs.

An exciting finale is on the cards at the Wankhede, home of Windies skipper Kieron Pollard when it comes to plying his trade in the Indian Premier League.

Squads: India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Deepak Chahar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Sanju Samson

West Indies: Kieron Pollard (captain), Fabian Allen, Brandon King, Denesh Ramdin, Sheldon Cottrell, Evin Lewis, Sherfane Rutherford, Shimron Hetmyer, Khary Pierre, Lendl Simmons, Jason Holder, Hayden Walsh Jr, Keemo Paul, Kesrick Williams.


‘Ruthless’ India show no mercy on average New Zealand: Akhtar




Rawalpindi: Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar reckons that the Virat Kohli-led India is swiftly becoming a “ruthless” team as they proved their mettle once again, this time against New Zealand in the second T20I of the series.

Akhtar was also all praise for different members of the Men in Blue.

After India defeated the Black Caps by seven wickets in the second affair of the five-match rubber in Auckland on Sunday, Akhtar said on his Youtube channel: “India is becoming a ruthless team as they once again proved it against New Zealand in the second T20I. If you (Kiwis) are being bowled out for such a modest total, how will you compete against a side like India which possesses a long batting line-up.”

“Earlier, I had said that (Colin) Munro and (Martin) Guptill would have to score big, otherwise it would be impossible to stop the onslaught of India,” he added.

Known as the ‘Rawalpindi Express’ in his playing days, Akhtar also lauded pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami saying: “Have seen a new confidence from Bumrah and Shami as they have now started to create fear in the oppostion batsmen. Also, Ravindra Jadeja doesn’t let you score runs and bowls some odd spins which and tests the batsmen.”

The 44-year-old lamented the fact that competition in cricket is slowing down globally as teams have failed to show character and any fight.

“At present India is dominating the world one-sided. But what will happen to other teams? What will happen to world cricket?” he asked.

“When Australia dominated world cricket, at least India and Pakistan showed fight and tried to compete. However, what we are seeing in New Zealand is that the hosts have completely surrendered before India in the first t20 T20Is,” he added.

India will now aim to seal what would be their first T20I series-win over New Zealand when they meet the hosts in the third match in Hamilton on Wednesday.

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