|Momentum with India but B’desh can spring another surprise| NAGPUR, Nov 9: India will be eyeing their first T20 International series win at home this season when they take on Bangladesh in the decisive third game here on Sunday, with the hope that their fringe players contribute significantly to a victory.
Indian captain Rohit Sharma and Shivam Dube during a practice session ahead of the third T20 cricket match against Bangladesh at Vidarbha Cricket Association stadium in Nagpur, on Saturday. – PTI
In the absence of some senior players, including skipper Virat Kohli, India’s primary objective of the T20 series was to identify the core of players for the T20 World Cup next year.
Not much was achieved on that front in the first two games barring the successful comeback of leggie Yuzvendra Chahal, who once again proved his wicket-taking ability in the middle overs.
After Chahal and Co. restricted Bangladesh to 153 for six in Rajkot, skipper Rohit Sharma blew the opposition away with a sublime 85 to level the series 1-1.
Washington Sundar, who has been preferred to chinaman Kuldeep Yadav, has kept things tight but has not been as threatening as Chahal. Pacer Khaleel Ahmed leaked runs in both the games, increasing the possibility of Shardul Thakur partnering Deepak Chahar on Sunday.
Krunal Pandya, who has been a regular in the Indian T20 squad for a while, is yet to pick up a wicket though he has not had much to do with the bat.
Rohit fielded the same team in Delhi and Rajkot, leaving the likes of Manish Pandey, Sanju Samson and Rahul Chahar to warm the bench. If not in Nagpur, they could get an opportunity in the following home series against the West Indies next month.
Even when the senior players return after this series, India will have plenty to ponder over their team composition, especially in the batting department where they lack the firepower in comparison to teams like Australia and England.
Shreyas Iyer has looked impressive in the limited time he has spent in the middle while KL Rahul is yet to make an impact, just like rookie all-rounder Shivam Dube.
However, it is the not the fringe players who are facing the maximum pressure, it is the established names like opener Shikhar Dhawan and wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant.
Match starts at 7 pm IST. – PTI