Lauderhill, Aug 11: After losing the first two T20I matches to the West Indies, India kept the five-game series alive with a resounding seven-wicket win in the third game, thanks to superlative efforts from vice-captain Suryakumar Yadav and Tilak Varma.
Now with the series action shifting to Lauderhill in Florida, USA, for the last two matches, India will be hoping that other batters step up to make significant contributions in the fourth T20I happening on Saturday.
West Indies are still leading the series 2-1, owing to India’s batting barring Varma not coming to the party. Though Suryakumar got back his groove in the third T20I, India would require the likes of Yashasvi Jaiswal, Shubman Gill, captain Hardik Pandya and the rest of the lower-order batters to step up and play a huge role in run-making.
Gill has been dismissed for single digits in all three innings and is yet to reach double figures in the series till now. Jaiswal, brought in place of Ishan Kishan at the top, got out cheaply on his T20I debut.
With Hardik yet to find his peak form with the bat and India's tail starting from number eight, the need of the hour is for bigger contributions from the batting department in unison. In the bowling department, Kuldeep Yadav, Axar Patel and Yuzvendra Chahal have been impressive as a spin outfit, while Arshdeep Singh and Mukesh Kumar are doing a tidy job.
For the West Indies, building up to next year’s T20 World Cup at home, there is a chance for them to win back-to-back T20I series for the first time since 2017 if they manage to beat India on Saturday.
Just like India, West Indies batters haven’t clicked in unison, with Nicholas Pooran in the midst of a purple patch and captain Rovman Powell providing big hits to some extent. Kyle Mayers, Shimron Hetmyer and Brandon King need to stand up with the bat if West Indies are to pose a strong challenge to India.
There is a forecast for some rain in the afternoon as the USA readies itself to see some international cricket action featuring India after witnessing three weeks of MLC extravaganza.
The two teams have played six T20Is in their face-offs at Lauderhill, with India winning four games, West Indies just once, and the other one being washed out.
India: Ishan Kishan (wk), Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma, Suryakumar Yadav (vc), Sanju Samson (wicket-keeper), Hardik Pandya (c), Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravi Bishnoi, Arshdeep Singh, Umran Malik, Avesh Khan, Mukesh Kumar
West Indies: Rovman Powell (c), Kyle Mayers (vc), Johnson Charles, Roston Chase, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Obed McCoy, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Oshane Thomas. (IANS)