Team India are heavy favorites to win the T20I series against the West Indies
Team India will lock horns with West Indies in the fourth T20I at the Central Broward Regional Stadium in Lauderhill, Florida, USA, on Saturday (August 6).
The Rohit Sharma-led unit are currently enjoying a 2-1 lead going into the match in and will look to seal the five-match T20I series with a win on Saturday.
The pitch in Florida is anticipated to provide roughly equal aid to both batters and bowlers. Based on the previous games played at this venue, the teams batting first have won nine of the 12 games.
Bowlers with variations might be quite important as the game progresses. Despite the average score being 157, a high-scoring match may occur due to the freshness of the surface.
With a potential series win on the line, let’s take a look at three changes the visitors could make ahead of the fourth T20I:
#3 Axar Patel
Axar Patel in action against South Africa
One change that India could make in the upcoming T20I is to include Axar Patel in the starting XI. With Ravindra Jadeja being rested, Axar can be utilized by skipper Rohit Sharma for his precise line and length. Not long ago, the left-arm spinner also manifested his hard-hitting batting skills, carrying India over the line almost single-handedly in an ODI game against West Indies in Trinidad. The southpaw smashed 64 off 35 balls to completely take the game away from the Windies.
Watch Axar Patel’s stellar knock here:
There are possibly two players who can make way for Axar, the obvious one being Avesh Khan. The tall pacer has been in poor form and is seemingly diffident with his bowling in the series. The visitors could also make the bold move of replacing Ravichandran Ashwin with Axar to add some variety to the bowling attack.
While Ashwin hasn’t done much wrong in the series so far and has picked up three wickets so far, the Men in Blue have an off-spinner in the form of Deepak Hooda. It will be interesting to see if Axar gets some game time in the remaining two games against the Caribbean unit.
#2 Harshal Patel
Harshal Patel during England v India – 3rd Vitality IT20
Until some time ago, Harshal Patel was the frontrunner in the race to be selected in India’s squad for the Asia Cup and the T20 World Cup. However, with him getting injured along with the rise of Arshdeep Singh, Harshal will need a special performance to claw his way back into the Men in Blue’s setup.
The right-arm pacer was ruled out of the second and third T20I due to a rib injury. However, there has been no official confirmation yet from the team management regarding Harshal’s recovery. If fit, Harshal should straightaway replace Avesh Khan in the starting XI.
Avesh has leaked runs at an alarming rate of 14.6. That’s where Harshal can come in handy in, restricting the West Indian batters with his slower and deceitful deliveries. In the three T20Is he has played against the West Indies, Harshal has picked up five wickets at an economy of just over 8.
#1 Sanju Samson
Northamptonshire v India – T20 Tour Match
With Shreyas Iyer not being able to pounce on his chances, it might be time for India to give talented batter Sanju Samson his share of opportunities.
Iyer has racked up a mere 34 runs in three games so far in the series. He has looked vulnerable against short-pitched bowling and the Caribbean bowlers have exploited his weaknesses effectively.
Samson, on the other hand, has looked solid whenever given the chance, be it as an opener or a middle-order batter. The Kerala wicketkeeper-batter could be an ideal swap for Iyer in the side and once again prove his mettle on the international stage.