After the completion of ODI series, West Indies and India will compete in the one-off T20I at Kingston in Jamaica on Sunday, 9th July. It was a comprehensive series victory for the Men in Blue who managed to outclass the hosts in the 50-over format in all the three departments. But, now it’s time for the shortest format of the sport and we all know how dangerous the West Indies are when it comes to T20 cricket. So which team holds the upper hand in this T20 contest? Let’s take a look
West Indies: Strengths
Return of Universe Boss! The Big man is back in the team and his inclusion will be a huge boost for West Indies in this encounter. His mere presence is enough to bring shivers down the spine of opposition bowlers. Chris Gayle will be playing in front of his home crowd in Jamaica and his aim will be to entertain the spectators with his huge sixes. Chris last played a T20I way back in 2016 and that was against England during the World T20 final. So, as Gayle’s playing an international match after 15 long months, he’ll be aiming to make a strong comeback. He’s the only batsman to have scored 10000-plus runs in the T20 format. So, you can expect him to fire in this one-off T20I clash.
Big hitters in the team! In the presence of Kieron Pollard, Carlos Brathwaite, Marlon Samuels and others – West Indies have a dangerous batting unit. On their day, they can literally destroy opposition bowlers. India will be aware of this fact, hence it’s going to be a tough challenge for Indian bowlers to keep West Indian batsmen quiet.
Spin magicians! With Samuel Badree and Sunil Narine in the team, West Indies have two of the best T20 specialists to play with. Badree took a hat-trick in the recent IPL season and Narine entertained one and all with his belligerent hitting as an opener. At what position will we get to see Narine batting for West Indies though? Will he bat at his usual position or will he open the innings for the hosts?
West Indies: Weaknesses
Without Andre Russell & Dwayne Bravo! Andre Russell who’s one of the best all-rounders West Indies has ever produced is still serving his ban. Also, with Dwayne Bravo out of the team, the hosts have two of their best all-rounders missing from the team. But with the availability of other all-rounders, West Indies have all their bases covered.
Confidence low after 3-1 loss in ODI series! West Indies are coming off a disappointing series loss, hence they would be a bit low on confidence. However, with many new faces in the squad, they’ll look to change things around in the shortest format and give their fans something to cheer about.
West Indies (Probable XI) – Carlos Brathwaite (c), Evin Lewis, Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Rovman Powell, Marlon Samuels, Chadwick Walton (wk), Samuel Badree, Jason Mohammed, Kieron Pollard, Jerome Taylor.
Batsmen in form! Most of the Indian batsmen are in form and their performance in the ODI series was exceptional. Kohli scored a century in the final ODI of the series while Rahane was consistent right throughout. However, in T20Is Ajinkya Rahane hasn’t made a mark, so we can expect some other batsman to come in the team for the opener. With Rishabh Pant in the squad, we can expect the southpaw to make his T20I debut.
Bowlers to do the job! Indian team has bowlers like Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav and Ravichandran Ashwin available in the team. These bowlers are really clever when it comes to bowling in the T20I format. If they to get early wickets, India might be able to restrict West Indies to a comparatively smaller total.
Team morale high after ODI series win! The 3-1 series win would have given team India a lot of confidence and self-belief. The Indian squad is same for the T20Is, hence with a hang of the conditions in the Caribbean, it’ll be a lot easier for all players to go out and express themselves for one last time. T20 cricket is all about expressing yourself and playing fearless cricket. It’ll be great to watch Indian batsmen come out and go all guns blazing.
Up against World T20 Champions! West Indies is the only team to have won World T20 twice. They posted a 240-odd total against India in one of the T20Is at Lauderhill last August. Evin Lewis scored a blistering century in that contest and he’s in the squad even this time around. Can he play a similar type of knock on Sunday? Well, if Lewis gets going – India will be in huge trouble once again.
Lost quite a few times in the shortest format! India have lost quite a few times against West Indies in the shortest format (4 out of 6 T20Is). One of the matches was in Lauderhill and before that during the World T20 semi-final. So, as West Indies have an edge over India when it comes to T20Is – they have the advantage going into this one-off T20I on Sunday.
India (Probable XI) – Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav, Ravichandran Ashwin.
Match Prediction – West Indies have an excellent team when it comes to T20 cricket. With the return of Gayle and presence of Pollard, the hosts have an upper hand over India in this contest. Also, with Narine and Badree in the team, West Indies are the favorites in this contest.
Possible winner – West Indies