Captain Kohli hints at changes
India may experiment with their XI in the final match of the T20I series against the West Indies, captain Virat Kohli has hinted.
India won the weather-hit second match by 22 runs via the Duckworth-Lewis method on Sunday to clinch the series 2-0 with a game to spare.
Kohli lauded the players for “clinical” performance and dropped hints that he may try out the players who did not get a chance to play in the first two matches.
“Winning is always a priority. But sealing the series gives the chance to bring a few guys in. Idea is always going to be to win first. But winning the first two games gives the cushion,” Kohli said during the post-match presentation ceremony in Lauderhill.
The final match will be played at the Providence Stadium in Guyana on Tuesday.
Shreyas Iyer and leg-break bowler Rahul Chahar stand a chance to play in the third T20I. It will not come as a surprise if Deepak Chahar, cousin of Rahul, too, finds a place in the playing XI.
It remains to be seen if Kohli persists with wicket-keeper Rishabh Pant, who scored 4 and 0 in the two matches. KL Rahul, who has kept wickets in the IPL, can don the keeping gloves.
Talking about the second match, Kohli said early on the pitch was good to bat.
Kohli praised Ravindra Jadeja and Krunal Pandya for helping India reach 167 in their 20 overs.
“The new ball was coming on nicely. We set up a good foundation. Good finish from Jadeja and Krunal to get us past 160. The way we were going, we could have got to 180, but the pitch slowed down considerably in the latter half,” he said.
The India captain had words of praise for spinner Washington Sundar, who was asked to open the bowling in both the matches. The left-arm spinner succeeded in providing the breakthrough in both the games.
“Starting with the new ball, the way Sundar has bowled against the guys who come hard at the ball, was tremendous.
“The composure he’s shown has been outstanding. He’s become fitter, leaner and is very handy with the bat as well. He is definitely going to be a factor for us,” he said.
West Indies captain Carlos Brathwaite said his side could have won had the match been completed. Chasing a stiff 168, the Caribbeans were 98 for four in 15.3 overs when play was stopped due to thunderstorm.
“We didn’t have the start with the ball we wanted but we pulled it back. Had a solid base with the bat. We backed ourselves to get 70 off 26 even though it was a difficult task,” he said.
- Match starts: 8pm (IST)