India vs Bangladesh: Three players who might be dropped for the third T20I
The first two encounters in the three-match T20I series between India and Bangladesh have witnessed match stories of total contrast. If Bangladesh had the upper hand in their maiden T20I win against India in Delhi, the Rohit Sharma-led side came back strongly to draw level at Rajkot.
With series squared up at 1-1, it is all to play for in the third T20I at Nagpur on November 10. Both the teams will be aiming to put in their best so as to claim the T20I series and end the first half of this tour on a winning note.
The series so far has been centered around a couple of players. If it was Mushfiqur Rahim who inspired Bangladesh to victory in the opener, then it was skipper Rohit and the Indian bowlers who stole the show at Rajkot. However, some of the players have failed to create any impactful performance in the series so far.
With a crucial encounter lined up on Sunday, both the teams will want to field their best XI even if it is at the cost of dropping a few players to give game time to some benched players in their squad. There might be changes that one might expect as we go into the final match of the series.
Based upon the performances in this series, here's a look at three players who might be dropped for the third T20I in Nagpur:
#3 Khaleel Ahmed
The Indian speedster and one of the two first-choice seamers in this Indian squad, Khaleel Ahmed, has been disappointing with his twin outings in the series. In his eight overs bowled this series, Khaleel has been India's most expensive bowler with an economy rate upwards of 10.
Defending a lowish total in Delhi, the left-arm pacer was trusted to bowl the 19th over, but he failed miserably, conceding as many as four 4s in the all-important over. He has been short on match practice resulting in his wayward line and lengths in both the matches. It will be no surprise if the 21-year old is dropped from the playing XI for the final T20I.
He might well be replaced by Shardul Thakur as the second seam option as India look to seal the series 2-1 in Nagpur on Sunday.
#2 Mustafizur Rahman
The strike bowler for Bangladesh in the shorter formats, Mustafizur Rahman has had a tough outing in both the matches in the series. Being the most experienced bowler in their ranks, Rahman has struggled to find his right length both at the start and at the death. He has been wicket-less and has leaked runs that may lead to his possible exclusion from the side for the final T20I.
#1 KL Rahul
India's second-choice opener after Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul is currently slotted at No.3 for India in the absence of Virat Kohli. In the two matches in this series, Rahul hasn't produced any significant performance that calls for him to be retained for the third T20.
In the first match in Delhi, where batting was tough, Rahul was caught due to his weak footwork against spin, while he didn't get enough opportunity in the second game. He may have not done anything disastrous to be left out, but India might consider Manish Pandey or Sanju Samson in the middle-order in place of Rahul in this must-win game.