MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai
November 11, Sunday; 19:00 IST
Live on Star Sports, streaming on Hotstar
The main picture
The only times the West Indies have shown any resolve on this tour were during the ODI series, when they managed to hold India to a tie in the second ODI and beat them by 43 runs in the third. Thereby, they led us to believe that the entirety of the limited-overs legs will be competitive. However, with their batting line-up lacking a lynchpin, who can complement the many stroke-makers, and the bowling attack bereft of wicket-takers, the last four matches have ended in convincing wins for India. Not that the home team have not gained much from those big-margin victories in Mumbai (CCI), Thiruvananthapuram, Kolkata, and Lucknow.
The bigger question ahead of the inconsequential final T20I is whether West Indies will thrive amid the lack of pressure. The two marquee batsmen in the West Indies batting line-up, Shai Hope and Shimron Hetmyer, have struggled for consistency on this tour. They need to come good if the visitor are to have a chance of winning the third T20I. Even then, the bowling attack has struggled to pick wickets but for a couple of ODIs in which Ashley Nurse posed problems for the Indian batsmen with his accurate off-spin.
From India’s perspective, the competition for places is such that none of the players who played the first two T20Is will be content if the think-tank decides to rest them. Shreyas Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, and Shahbaz Nadeem haven’t played a part in the first two T20Is and will be itching to in Chennai, which is home to Washington. Even if the team management does decide to field the players who haven’t played so far, India are unlikely to be much depleted. With a variety of spinners in their ranks and the pitch at the MA Chidambaram Stadium likely to be slow and low, chances of a West Indian backlash appear slim.
MA Chidambaram Stadium pitch report and weather forecast
Chennai has hosted only six international matches since the 2011 World Cup, with the closure of stands I, J and K the foremost reason for the venue not hosting any of the ICC World T20 2016 fixtures. A pitch that was excellent for batting and offered sharp turn and bounce for spinners during the 1990s and early 2000s, has endured a significant change in character. With not much cricket having been played since one IPL 2018 match in April, you can expect the pitch for Sunday’s T20I to be slower and conducive for bowlers who take the pace off the ball.
The forecast says that Sunday will be largely clear with a night temperature of 24 degree Celsius.
3rd T20: India vs West Indies probable playing 11
Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav and Kuldeep Yadav have been rested for the third T20I, with Siddharth Kaul added to the squad.
Possible India playing 11: 1 Rohit Sharma (c), 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Lokesh Rahul, 4 Manish Pandey/Shreyas Iyer, 5 Rishabh Pant, 6 Krunal Pandya/Washington Sundar, 7 Dinesh Karthik (wk), 8 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 9 Siddharth Kaul, 10 Yuzvendra Chahal, 11 Khaleel Ahmed/Shahbaz Nadeem
Possible West Indies playing XI: 1 Carlos Brathwaite (c), 2 Shai Hope, 3 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 4 Kieron Pollard/Sherfane Rutherford, 5 Darren Bravo, 6 Shimron Hetmyer, 7 Keemo Paul/Obed McCoy, 8 Nicholas Pooran, 9 Fabian Allen, 10 Khary Pierre, 11 Oshane Thomas
India certainly hold the aces against the beleaguered West Indies, who need a change in approach to their batting and their bowlers to find penetration to deny India another whitewash on this tour.