With the series sealed following the seven-wicket win at the JSCA International Stadium in Ranchi on Friday, it is expected that India could make a few changes for the final tie against New Zealand on Sunday at the iconic Eden Gardens in Kolkata. However, former Indian cricketer Gautam Gambhir is looking forward to just one change in the XI, opining that the wicket in Kolkata will suit this bowler.
Talking to Star Sports after the second T20I, Gambhir felt that India might want to rest Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who played both the games, and rather bring in Avesh Khan, who was the second-highest wicket-taker in IPL 2021 after Harshal Patel, with 24 wickets in 16 matches at an economy rate of 7.37.
“From a bowling point of view they can actually rest Bhuvneshwar Kumar and look at Avesh Khan. It will suit him especially the wicket in Kolkata, it’s got pace and bounce. So I would definitely want to see Avesh playing that game. He has got pace and you got to test him on the international stage when you got the series in your bag. So that is one change they can look towards,” Gambhir said.
India have so far handed the debut cap to two players – Venkatesh Iyer in the first game and Harshal Patel in the second. Iyer, who is looked at as a replacement for Hardik Pandya, did not get an opportunity to bowl but scored 16 runs in two games. Harshal, on the other hand, picked the Man of the Match award for his impressive debut in the Ranchi game where he finished with 2 for 25.
The veteran cricketer also advised India to still be ruthless in the third game despite the series win and not opt to bat first if they win the toss.
“You still have to be ruthless and try to wrap up the series 3-0. But no point putting pressure on yourself,” he added.
Dew has been a major factor in T20s off late with chasing teams having the advantage. In the ongoing series, India opted to chase in both the matches and won both in convincing manner.