Sunday, July 9, 2017
Start time 1030 local (1530 GMT)
Chris Gayle. Sunil Narine. Kieron Pollard. Samuel Badree. With all due respect to the players who managed to win one ODI and also the circumstances of West Indies cricket, now we are talking. With all due respect to the earnestness of Jason Holder and his boys in the longer formats, this is West Indies' best format. There's only of these games, and that too at 10.30am on a Sunday for the obvious reasons of meeting India's television prime time, but this promises to be the most evenly matched contest of India's tour of the West Indies.
Anything close to what these sides dished out the last time they met - 245 v 244 - in Florida last year will be blockbuster. West Indies will be missing Dwayne Bravo and Andre Russell from that line-up, but will welcome back Gayle, in his hometown. For India, it's as if nothing changes. West Indies retain only four members of their ODI squad for this T20I; India usually don't name a different squad. The look of their T20 side is pretty much the same since the last year.
The look of the contest will be similar too: West Indies' power, with one hitter following another, against India's touch batsmen and an attack that will rely on spin to take wickets in the middle.
West Indies WWWLW (last five completed matches, most recent first)
In the spotlight
The last time Evin Lewis played a T20 against India he smacked a 49-ball 100. In the whole ODI series, he has scored 67 runs, at a strike rate of 54.91. The difference of 60 points between his T20I and ODI strike rates - 137 and 77 - has to be one of the biggest. Back in his preferred format, he will look for some redemption.
The ODI batsmen found Kuldeep Yadav hard to pick, scoring only four an over against him. India will look to control the game in the middle through him or perhaps pull the shutters down if West Indies get off to a quick start.
Now that Gayle is back, he has to open. That pushes down Chadwick Walton to the slot vacated by Lendl Simmons.
West Indies (probable): 1 Evin Lewis, 2 Chris Gayle, 3 Marlon Samuels, 4 Jason Mohammed, 5 Chadwick Walton (wk), 6 Kieron Pollard/ Rovman Powell, 7 Carlos Brathwaite (capt.), 8 Sunil Narine, 9 Jerome Taylor, 10 Samuel Bardee, 11 Kesrick Williams
If Virat Kohli keeps opening for India, that might mean an exit for Ajinkya Rahane, but if Yuvraj Singh is not fit, India might stick with Rahane. This could be the time Rishabh Pant finally gets a game too. R Ashwin has been in better bowling form than Ravindra Jadeja, but the latter's fielding will make the second spinner's slot an interesting debate.
India (probable): 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 Virat Kohli (capt.), 3 Yuvraj Singh, 4 Rishabh Pant, 5 MS Dhoni (wk), 6 Kedar Jadhav/Dinesh Karthik, 7 Hardik Pandya, 8 Kuldeep Yadav, 9 Ravindra Jadeja/R Ashwin, 10 Bhuvneshwar Kumar/Mohammed Shami, 11 Umesh Yadav
Pitch and conditions
Unlike in the earlier ODIs, the ball came on to the bat in the last match, played at the same venue. This could be a high-scorer.
Stats and trivia
Sunil Narine is two short of becoming the third West Indies bowler - behind Dwayne Bravo and Samuel Badree - with 50 T20I wickets. He has bowled only seven T20I overs against India, for 70 runs and no wickets.
Among those who have sent down a minimum of 25 overs inside the Powerplay, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Samuel Badree are the sixth- and eighth-most economical bowlers with rates of 5.68 and 5.75. Newcomer Kesrick Williams has now bowled 10 overs in the Powerplay for just three runs an over.
Head to head, West Indies lead India 4-2 after seven matches.
Fans in the Indian subcontinent will be able watch near-live clips of major events during the match on ESPNcricinfo, both on scorecard pages and story pages, and in case you miss watching the match live, you can catch all the highlights and stories told through videos on the site. And the entire series will be streamed live in the Indian subcontinent on ESPN.in and on SonyLIV