AdvertisementImage Courtesy: India TodayThe Men In Blue have had their task cut out so far thanks to a dominant performance in the first test at Rajkot. With the all-important tour of Australia in sight, Virat Kohli and co. would be on the lookout to tick all the boxes in the final test.While West Indies, despite their massive defeat in the first game, will be bolstered by the return of skipper Jason Holder and experienced pacer Kemar Roach in the side having missed the first clash owing to injuries.Virat Kohli named an unchanged twelve man side for the clash, which leads to suggest that the Men In Blue might field an unchanged eleven.On the other hand, despite the return of Holder and Roach, the Caribbean side are still unsure of Shannon Gabriel’s involvement as the pacer suffered a niggle at Rajkot.Predicted XI India: Prithvi Shaw, KL Rahul, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli (c), Ajinkya Rahane, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Umesh YadavPredicted XI West Indies: Kraigg Brathwaite, Kieran Powell, Shai Hope, Sunil Ambris, Shimron Hetmeyer, Roston Chase, Shane Dowrich (wk), Jason Holder (c), Kemar Roach, Devendra Bishoo, Shannon Gabriel Venue: Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, HyderabadWhere to watch: Star Sports Network, HotstarRead Also:Cricket: Anil Kumble hails ICC for crackdown on suspect bowling actionCricket: India announce their 14 member squad for first two ODIs vs WI Advertisement
New stars have been discovered in every season of the Indian Premier League. Some have emerged from obscurity while others have shown the ability to deliver well beyond their young age.Rising Pune Supergiant will soon finish their two-year stint but the IPL will thank them for bringing to the limelight two dazzling and plucky stars in Rahul Tripathi and 17-year-old Washington Sundar.BCCI Photo Sundar’s uncomplicated off-spin yielded 3/16 off four overs in the emphatic victory over Mumbai Indians in the first qualifier. That spell underlined the value he has brought to the franchise who had lost their lead spinner R Ashwin to injury.”Coming into the team, when I was told I will debut, I didn’t expect to fill Ashwin’s shoes nor did the team expect that from me. But I backed myself and am glad to have delivered,” he tells India Today in an interview.On the other side of the room, Rahul Tripathi is on the pool table with Manoj Tiwary. Being the senior pro, Tiwary resorts to some banter and gamesmanship in the intense pool contest but Tripathi has been well ahead of the nine ball with his opponents in the 22 yard-strip which matters.”I follow the ‘watch ball, hit ball’ philosophy. That’s what has worked for me. Keeping the mind blank and that frame of mind has helped me,” Tripathi tells India Today.Until the auction happened and RPS brought him into the mix, he was one of the many countless Tripathis working his trade to earn a living. Now after playing a key role in the team’s multiple, brisk opening stands, Tripathi finds himself in his first big final.advertisement”For nine years I have watched the IPL finals on TV only. Now I will be competing in one. It is a huge thing,” he says with a twinkle in the eye.Sunday’s final is equally significant for Sundar. Still not old enough to secure a driving licence, Sundar has played in an important final in the past – the under-19 World Cup finale last year which India lost.This one will be with the big boys though. “Not many get this chance at 17. Hope I can win it for the team. It would be good to be a hero in the final,” he says nonchalantly.Tripathi and Sundar have contributed on an equal footing with the big stars – MS Dhoni, Ben Stokes and Steve Smith – as RPS stormed their way through to the final.Sundar has taken the mantle of bowling the difficult powerplay overs ‘happily as a challenge’. Tripathi who once hit six sixes in an over in club cricket has taken that fearless attitude at the top of the order.Sundar’s go-to-man is his idol MS Dhoni. “Dhoni is the first person I go to when I have any doubts. It could be something about a batsman. It’s great to have someone like him (around in the team). I am lucky to be playing with him,” he says.Tripathi attributes his success to his opening partner Ajinkya Rahane, who has himself had an unusually quite tournament.”Opening with Ajinkya Rahane has been a dream experience. Sharing thoughts with him has been great. He gives ideas and options from the other end. He gives inputs on what the ball is doing. He has been instrumental in (developing) my batting skills,” he said.Washington Sundar and Rahul Tripathi were, by their own admission, just happy to be in the same team bus and the same dressing room with some of the biggest names in world cricket. On Sunday, the two rookies will do business with their heroes in a bid to lift the IPL trophy.