India vs West Indies, 3rd T20I: Having already clinched the three-match rubber 2-0, India will be looking for a clean sweep against the West Indies when the two sides face off in the final T20 International at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium here on Sunday.
However, Chennai fans will miss their favourite “Thala” in former India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who has been dropped from the ongoing T20I series and also the forthcoming T20I rubber in Australia later this month.
With the series already in India’s kitty, after convincing wins in Kolkata and Lucknow, the team management had decided to rest some of the key bowlers in pacers Umesh Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah, and chinaman Kuldeep Yadav for the final match.
In such a scenario, the home side would look to test their reserve players like Shreyas Iyer, Washington Sundar and the uncapped Shahbaz Nadeem ahead of the challenging tour Down Under, later this month.
India’s batting department will be spearheaded by skipper Rohit Sharma, who struck a blistering century to hand the hosts a comfortable 2-0 lead in the second game.
Besides Sharma, his opening partner Shikhar Dhawan has also been amongst the runs, while the middle order responsibilities will be shouldered by the likes of Lokesh Rahul, Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar will lead the pace attack that comprises the rookie left-armer Khaleel Ahmed and the newly-added Siddharth Kaul.
It will be interesting to see whether the team management tweaks the spin department comprising leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal and left-armer Krunal Pandya, with Sundar and Nadeem still warming the bench.
On the other hand, the West Indies will aim to finish off on a high and are expected to come out all guns blazing for one final time in the tour.
While the absence of regular openers — Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis — has been a setback for them, the experienced middle order comprising Kieron Pollard, Darren Bravo and Denesh Ramdin have flopped big time in the opening two matches.
Skipper Carlos Brathwaite and the young Shimron Hetmyer will also need to pull up their socks if the visitors want to put up a fight at Chepauk.
On the bowling front, Oshane Thomas has waged a lone battle so far as the other West Indian bowlers have looked pedestrian on most occasions.
India: Rohit Sharma (C), Lokesh Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik (WK), Krunal Pandya, Siddarth Kaul, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Khaleel Ahmed, Shahbaz Nadeem, Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
West Indies: Carlos Brathwaite (C), Fabian Allen, Keemo Paul, Khary Pierre, Oshane Thomas, Shai Hope (WK), Shimron Hetmyer, Darren Bravo, Denesh Ramdin, Nicholas Pooran, Kieron Pollard, Obede McCoy, Rovman Powell, Sherfane Rutherford.