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India vs West Indies | Under-Pressure India Seek Crucial Answers in Decider At Wankhede

The three-match T20I series between India and West Indies is perfectly poised at 1-1 heading into the decider at Mumbai on Wednesday (December 11). India won the first match, chasing 208 in Hyderabad, before West Indies drew level chasing chasing 171 in Thiruvananthapuram.

Cricketnext Staff |December 10, 2019, 4:04 PM IST
India vs West Indies | Under-Pressure India Seek Crucial Answers in Decider At Wankhede

The three-match T20I series between India and West Indies is perfectly poised at 1-1 heading into the decider at Mumbai on Wednesday (December 11). India won the first match, chasing 208 in Hyderabad, before West Indies drew level chasing chasing 171 in Thiruvananthapuram.

It's India who will be under pressure at this point; West Indies will be happy to be where they are given how poor they have been in the format in recent years. They had won only 12 of their last 39 T20Is before the series, and having a chance of winning a series in India will give them confidence going into the next year when the T20 World Cup will be played.

India have some questions to deal with in the upcoming games in the format. Their record batting first is under the scanner; they've lost 8 of their last 15 games batting first. It includes five losses in nine games this year.

Virat Kohli has spoken about it quite a few times, but results haven't improved. That was the case in the second T20I as well, with India losing after scoring 170. The batting is evidently reliant on the top order. If at least one of Rohit Sharma or Virat Kohli fire, India end up with good totals. But when they don't, they're often in trouble.

India made a rare experiment in the top order the previous game, sending Shivam Dube at No. 3. The move worked, as Dube scored his first T20I half-century at good pace. However, it remains to be seen if India continue with that experiment as it means less batting time for Kohli. It also meant Shreyas Iyer was batting out of position - he struggled to hit in the death, as did Ravindra Jadeja, resulting in a below par total for India.

India will be slightly happy with Rishabh Pant's form in the two games. Although he hasn't set the stage on fire, he has played two decent hands in the series. A bigger knock will help his confidence.

India's bowlers struggled for the second game in a row, with West Indies attacking them without much fuss. But more than the bowling, it's the fielding that is a concern. India dropped three chances in the second T20I, and four in the first game. There were also plenty of misfields, including from the likes of Jadeja. India will have to stop this before it becomes a pattern.

West Indies have issues in their bowling too, particularly the number of extras they are conceding. They've given 41 extras in the two matches combined, which says a lot about the lack of discipline. The bowling made a fine comeback after the thrashing in Hyderabad; the death overs in particular was good as they kept India to 170. They also read the pitch well, bowling cutters and slower balls to deny India.

The batting has found the firepower they are known for. Almost all of them have been in the runs in the two games, with Lendl Simmons stepping up with a half-century in the second. They should enjoy batting in Mumbai, known for producing batsmen-friendly surfaces.

The position in the series means India might not be able to experiment much. They might try to give Mohammed Shami a game, while Washington Sundar and Ravindra Jadeja could be under pressure from Kuldeep Yadav too.

Jason Holder was expensive for West Indies in the previous game, but given the bounce on the Wankhede track and his batting ability, he could hold on to his spot.

Squads:

India: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli(c), Rishabh Pant(w), Shreyas Iyer, Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Manish Pandey, Sanju Samson, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami

West Indies: Lendl Simmons, Evin Lewis, Brandon King, Shimron Hetmyer, Kieron Pollard(c), Denesh Ramdin(w), Jason Holder, Khary Pierre, Hayden Walsh, Sheldon Cottrell, Kesrick Williams, Fabian Allen, Nicholas Pooran, Keemo Paul, Sherfane Rutherford.

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1 India 5211 116
2 New Zealand 3959 110
3 Australia 4320 108
4 England 5253 105
5 South Africa 3537 98
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1 England 6967 124
2 India 7939 118
3 New Zealand 5347 116
4 South Africa 5602 112
5 Australia 5915 110
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1 Pakistan 8926 270
2 Australia 7815 269
3 England 6407 267
4 India 12141 264
5 South Africa 6220 259
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