IND vs WI 2022, 4th T20I: Iyer, Hooda in Asia Cup berth contention as India aims to seal series
India will take on Windies in the fourth T20I in Florida on Saturday. While the Indians will look to seal the series, Shreyas Iyer and Deepak Hooda will contend for the Asia Cup 2022 berth.
Top-order Indian batter Shreyas Iyer's performance will be under extreme scrutiny, with India gearing up for the back-to-back Twenty20 International (T20I) games against the Windies. The fourth match of the five-game series will be played at the Central Broward Regional Park, Lauderhill in Florida, on Saturday, with a couple of objectives, i.e. winning the series and setting up the squad for the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup in Australia. India is currently leading the five-match series 2-1. Nothing would be more lovely than two thumping wins in front of the Indian diaspora in the United States of America (USA), foreseeing an enjoyable weekend cricket carnival.
However, in this current Indian setup, if there is someone whose performance will be scanned more than anyone else, it has to be the top-order batter, Shreyas Iyer. Deepak Hooda, who has used most of the prospects passed to him, looks good to outmanoeuvre Iyer at the moment as far as the ticket to the T20WC is concerned.
With KL Rahul and Virat Kohli all set to be back in the playing XI for the 2022 Asia Cup T20, time is indeed running out for Iyer, who has had scores of 0, 10 (11 balls) and 24 (27 balls) in his last three games in the enduring series. He has looked distinctly awkward while facing the fast and rising deliveries.
While the short ball happens to be his central problem, watching Iyer gives a feeling that he cannot decide at what pace and which gear he would bat in a T20 contest, something that's not the case when he is playing in the 50-over format. Under head coach Rahul Dravid's control so far, no player has got a raw deal in terms of chances and is given long enough rope to thrive.
However, in the case of Iyer, his T20I game hasn't precisely paid the results that one has seen him deliver in ODI cricket. Even then, Dravid has given Iyer nine T20Is in the last two and half months, out of which one in Bengaluru was washed out, and there hasn't been a single 50-plus score, even when he got a chance to come out within the opening ten overs.
If Iyer gets his chance in a final couple of matches, he has no choice but to put his best foot onward, as the Asia Cup side will also be the likely team for the T20WC. Even if Iyer makes the cut for Asia Cup or T20WC, there is little chance of him getting a first XI look-in in an already jam-packed top-order.
Rohit likely to be available
While Suryakumar Yadav's awe-inspiring shots have left all wide-eyed, he is expected to have his skipper Rohit Sharma for the company at the top order. In the third match in Basseterre, Rohit was forced to retire hurt with a back spasm when he was batting on 11, and it was more like a prventive effort with a three-day gap in between games.
The Indian skipper would like to resume his fine contemporary form and buoyant sense in the remaining games but would also have the best seat to judge the form of some of his batters. Wicketkeeper-batter Rishabh Pant has looked adequate in all his short stints at the crease and wouldn't mind having a big one in front of a packed crowd in Lauderhill.
Playing Avesh a compulsion in the wake of Harshal's injury
Young pacer Avesh Khan has been taken to the cleaners in the last couple of matches. Still, the Dravid-Rohit pair has no other option but to continue with the extravagant MP speargun as all-rounder Harshal Patel has yet to recover from his rib-cage injury fully.
Avesh, throughout his career, has been a bit one-dimensional, either bowling too short or too full, giving batters generous time to work on the pace or play the full-blooded drive. It will be interesting to see if chinaman Kuldeep Yadav gets a match in the series and India plays an extra spinner if Harshal isn't fit on time.
India: Rohit Sharma (c), Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Hooda, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Dinesh Karthik (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Parel, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravi Bishnoi, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Avesh Khan, Bhuvneswar Kumar and Harshal Patel.
Windies: Nicholas Pooran (c & wk), Rovman Powell, Shamarh Brooks, Dominic Drakes, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Obed McCoy, Keemo Paul, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Devon Thomas (wk) and Hayden Walsh.
Date and day: August 6, 2022 (Saturday)
Venue: Central Broward Regional Park, Lauderhill, Florida
Time: 8.00 PM (IST)
Where to watch (TV): DD Sports
Where to watch (Online): FanCode