Ahead of the fifth and final T20I between India and England on March 20 (Saturday) at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, Dinesh Karthik has suggested two changes for the visiting team. Eoin Morgan & Co lost the fourth match of the series by eight runs which saw India level the series 2-2 thanks to brilliant efforts by the bowlers.
A target of 186 looked achievable when Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow were batting in the middle-overs, but the 65-run stand for the 4th wicket was broken as the Indian bowlers brought their side storming back in the game to clinch a close victory. Shardul Thakur bowled impeccably well in the death overs well supported by Hardik Pandya as Virat Kohli leveled terms in the series.
In the wake of this defeat, Dinesh Karthik, who is a part of the commentary panel on Sky Sports with the likes of Michael Atherton and Nasser Hussain, believes that Ben Stokes, who dazzled with his 23-ball 46-run scintillating knock, could add more solidity to this already remarkable England top-order if he is been promoted to number three instead of Dawid Malan, the number 1 ICC T20I batsman.
Despite adding that Eoin Morgan is unlikely to change the playing XI, Dinesh Karthik believes the addition of Sam Billings in place of Dawid Malan can make this side look more deadly in the series-decider.
“If I know Morgan, he’ll stick to the same XI and make sure he gives them confidence. But, for me, I have nothing against Malan – I think he’s a good player – but I think Stokes should bat at No 3, with the intent he showed, the way he was taking on the bowlers,” Dinesh Karthik said on Sky Sports.
“If it was Roy, Buttler, Stokes, with Bairstow at No 4 and Morgan No 5, that’s the way I’d look at it. That looks pretty solid to me,” he added.
Dawid Malan has had a relatively poor outing so far in the four matches. The southpaw has managed only 80 runs in 4 innings at a strike rate of 103.90 and has struggled against slower deliveries.