As international cricket returns to Lucknow after a gap of 25 years, the city will be abuzz to embrace the game of cricket at their new Bharat Ratna Atal Bihari Vajpayee Antarrashtriya Stadium. Amidst the frenzy, the Rohit Sharma-led Indian team will try to seal the T20 series in advance.
Rohit Sharma: The stand-in Indian skipper failed to make any sort of contributions with the bat in the first game, but his tactical nous was spot on. The way he changed the bowler and used Krunal Pandya after the powerplay overs was the stuff good T20 captains are made of.
Shikhar Dhawan: There is a thing with Dhawan that many bowlers fear. He is purely unpredictable and the word “form” carries a little significance for him. The first match was a joke of a batting display by him, but he has a good T20 record in 2018 to take inspiration from.
KL Rahul: KL Rahul began the first T20 with a delightful back-foot punch, but that only lasted as long as he pulled Carlos Brathwaite straight into the lap of deep square leg scoring 16 off 22 balls. Time is running out for him and he needs to match up substance with style so as to get an extended run in the team.
Rishabh Pant: He may have proved his abilities in the Test format, Rishabh Pant’s T20 hiatus is taking too long to be solved. In his almost two years of T20I career for India, he is yet to play a single meaningful
Manish Pandey: A 24-ball 19 may not guarantee a place for Pandey, but his importance in the team is much more than that. He is a composed batsman and has the ability to accelerate at the times of need, and given this team is filled with lots of hard-hitting batsmen, it is a wonderful trait that balances the dynamics.
Dinesh Karthik (wk): Karthik's calm presence carries a significant aura and at Eden - his new adopted home - saw that once again as the KKR skipper led the Indian team to the victory with an unbeaten 31-run innings and it will be a huge boost for the team if he does an encore in Lucknow.
Krunal Pandya: It turned out to be a memorable debut for the eldest of the Pandya brothers as he bowled with panache and batted with purpose. He was the MVP in the Kolkata game in more ways than one and certainly, be more confident when he will take the field today.
Kuldeep Yadav: With dew starting to set in, in northern India, there is a good chance that Kuldeep will have to be satisfied with little help from the surface. However, from the similar situation he found a way back in the first game and unless Windies batsmen remove their mental block, he will again come out triumphant.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar: After missing the series opener with a gastric complaint, Bhuvneshwar Kumar is all set to make a comeback to the team and Umesh Yadav is the likeliest of the candidate to be replaced. It will be harsh on Umesh, but there is no other way out.
Khaleel Ahmed: The left-arm pacer has the ability to move the ball both ways and Windies batsmen suffered the wrath in the ODI series and in the first T20I as well. But most importantly, Khaleel has that awkward angle from round the wicket that makes the batsmen worried about the release point.
Jasprit Bumrah: The best limited-overs bowler in the world at the moment and this is some statement. Bumrah’s arrival and rise have been a welcome sight for India’s limited-overs plans post-Zaheer Khan era. If Bumrah fires from the onset, like the way he did in the first game, Windies better beware.
Cricket FootBall Kabaddi
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