Mumbai: India will have to address the many inadequacies laid bare by a resolute Windies cricket team in the second T20I when the two teams made up of power-hitters square off in what promises to be an enthralling series-finale at Wankhede Stadium, Mumbai on Wednesday.
The rubber is locked 1-1 after two-time world champions West Indies turned on the style in the second T20I in Thiruvananthapuram following a Virat Kohli special in the lung-opener in Hyderabad.
For India, the focus will once again be on young guns like off-spinner Washington Sundar and under-fire wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant.
As for Sundar, it would be interesting to see whether the team management persists with him or gives chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav a game. Sundar has taken only three wickets in the last five T20Is that he has played (two against West Indies and three against Bangladesh).
He also ended up wicket-less in the two T20I against South Africa.
Sundar's fielding is another aspect about which skipper Virat Kohli would be worried. In the last game, he dropped a sitter of Lendl Simmons, whose 45-ball 67 laid the foundation of the West Indies' eight-wicket triumph.
Kuldeep last played a T20I against New Zealand in Hamilton back in February. He has warmed the benches for the first two games in this series.
For Pant also things are only getting tougher. The focus on him has been unrelenting and it won't be easy for him to regain the early form that made him seem like MS Dhoni's heir apparent.
Coming in at No 4, Pant made scores of 33 not out, 18, 6, 27, 19, 4 in the last seven T20Is that he featured in.
His last T20 fifty came against the West Indies in August, in Providence. With the likes of Sanju Samson waiting in the wings, Pant will have to come good sooner than later.
But in the overall analysis, India's batting has never been a problem. Opener Rohit Sharma, who had a rare-twin failure, would be raring to go before his home crowd.
KL Rahul and skipper Kohli are also among the runs. Shivam Dube, who slammed his maiden T20I fifty in the second match of the series, showed that he can hit towering sixes and he would want to perform before his home crowd, as would Shreyas Iyer.
However, bowling is a slight concern. The profligate pace duo of Deepak Chahar and Bhuvneshwar Kumar has leaked runs in the first two matches.
Chahar had a memorable series against Bangladesh but has not managed to repeat the show this time around. With Mohammed Shami around, Chahar will have to step up.
Also, India's fielding was way below par. The dropped catches and several misfields prompted Kohli to say if the performance does not improve, no score would be enough.
The hosts are also good chase-masters but will need to learn how to defend targets. On the other hand, West Indies will also fancy their chances to clinch the series after the terrific comeback.
Their top-order batsmen, particularly Simmons, are in splendid form. Also, the likes of Evin Lewis, Nicholas Pooran and Shimron Hetymer are among the runs and they will look to continue the form.
Add to it, the firepower of Brandon King, Jason Holder and skipper Kieron Pollard, the West Indies can look unbeatable on their day.
Even their bowlers, including pacer Sheldon Cottrell, are among the wickets. Along with Cottrell, Kesrick Williams, leg-spinner Hayden Walsh Jr and Holder, will have to bowl in the right areas to stem the flow of runs.
The West Indies also have fond memories of playing T20Is at the Wankhede as in the 2016 ICC World Cup semi-final, they defeated India and went on to win the title.
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.
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