Changes loom for West Indies in final T20


By Akeem Greene

Albeit a dead rubber, the third and final T20 International between West Indies and India will provide another lifeline to budding West Indian players, as the team builds towards the World T20 title defence in November 2020.

Number two ranked India have outplayed the number nine, and even though they have been a bit scrappy on occasions, they still have an unassailable 2-0 lead as they head to the National Stadium, Providence, on Tuesday.

It will be the first T20I at Providence since 2010, and of the last five, the team batting last have won four matches. However, the pitch was changed in 2017, and higher scores have been produced.

Interim Head Coach, Floyd Reifer, speaking on the eve of the match, confirmed the expected, that changes will be made, one of which will be Fabian Allen for Khary Pierre.

“You see Fabian Allen will come into the side tomorrow, and like I said, it is building towards the World Cup next year so obviously we will expose some more talents. We will have a look at the CPL [Caribbean Premier League] which starts in a few weeks so hopefully some good talent can come out of there as well, and we try to get a squad together as soon as possible and build towards next year.”

“In building towards next year, yes we know we have to win games but the important thing for us is to get together and play as many games together as a squad, trying to learn strengths and weaknesses and play as a team.”

Anthony Bramble and Jason Mohammed are the two players yet to start in the series, and the former could be in line for a T20I debut, along with the return of John Campbell at the top of the order.  Essentially, the point was made, the “aim is to win tomorrow.”

Additionally, with the two combined Powerplays reaping 57-7 for West Indies, the coach said they could possibly look at different combinations, but there is no reason to panic.  The talented Evin Lewis has failed to score in both matches and the Sunil Narine experiment failed in match two.

Rotation of strike has been a sore point across formats for the Caribbean men, and Reifer contended the problem stems from domestic cricket.

It is a glaring issue the team’s management is most conscious about, and to begin the process of rectifying, Reifer indicated it must start from the franchise system by teaching batters how to turn over the strike.

Since the start of January 2018, the defending WorldT20 champions, have only won four out of their 20 matches in the format, which is of grave concern as they fine tune preparations ahead of the WorldT20.

In response, Reifer reiterated the importance of building a team so they can forge a winning habit and formula, which, despite this series has failed to accomplish thus far, they can start on Tuesday.

West Indies: Carlos Brathwaite (captain), Fabian Allen, Anthony Bramble, John Campbell, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Keemo Paul, Kieron Pollard, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Sunil Narine, Oshane Thomas

India’s squad for T20Is: Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma (VC), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (WK), Krunal Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Rahul Chahar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini

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