How does one stop Virat Kohli? Even better, how does one stop Kohli from making anything in excess of fifty? Firstly, West Indies might do better to not make him angry. Kesrick Williams committed the mistake and he was repaid by his own karma by the notebook signature sledge. Rather than trying to put Kohli off his mark with some banter, it might be wiser for West Indies to bowl disciplined line and lengths to Kohli. Kieron Pollard, the West Indies skipper, did not mince words when he said that the batsmen executed their plans well but the bowlers let them down.
The bowlers conceded close to 15 wides and were guilty of no-balls in the death overs which proved to be costly. For India, there were some problem areas. The fielding was woeful with plenty of missed fielding opportunities and dropped catches. The bowling, that had clicked brilliantly in the series against Bangladesh, was taken to the cleaners by the power-hitting of the West Indies batsmen. Had it not been for the two wickets Yuzvendra Chahal took, India might have stared at a total in excess of 220.
The batting, though, remains in top shape thanks to KL Rahul and Kohli. However, they will be hoping that the middle order also gives out a decent contribution with Rishabh Pant getting a start but again falling cheaply while Shreyas Iyer did not get enough time out in the middle.
The performance of Washington Sundar has raised some concerns about the bowling department. With the kind of help Chahal got in Hyderabad, Kohli might be tempted to get in Kuldeep Yadav in the side as the spin twins look to create magic and confound the West Indies. The inclusion of Mohammed Shami in Bhuvneshwar Kumar's place might be a good idea as that might give the Indian team some options in the death. The visiting team's bowlers appeared clueless as Kohli went on the overdrive on Friday.
Williams conceded 60 runs from 3.4 overs and would be lucky to keep a place in the playing XI on Sunday. Pollard would want the experienced Jason Holder (46/0) and Sheldon Cottrell (1/24) to provide wickets in the initial overs to stymie a formidable Indian batting unit. The visitors also gave away 23 runs in extras, an area which needs immediate attention if they have to put India under pressure.
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.
Weather And Statistics
In the only Twenty20 International played at the Greenfield International stadium, the match was a rain-affected game against New Zealand. India held their nerve to secure a six-run win. It has been raining in Thiruvanathapuram on Saturday but the weather forecast is expected to be clear with high humidity.