The T20 series between India and West Indies is about to get underway and we will see both the sides at full strength for this series. With the T20 World Cup on the horizon, the big names are back in the side once again.
The West Indies are coming into this series after a loss in the T20 series to Afghanistan and have also made a couple of changes to their side.
The first match will now be played at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad.
India come into this opening game with form on their side, having won their last six T20 matches played against the Caribbean side in the last 13 months.
Their last T20 series came against Bangladesh in November which they won 2-1 and though it was far from comfortable, skipper Virat Kohli was rested and he returns to lead the side once again.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar also returns to the fold to bolster the bowling attack for this series as does Mohammed Shami.
An injury to Shikhar Dhawan has allowed Sanju Samson to once again be a part of the squad.
Khaleel Ahmed, Shardul Thakur, Rahul Chahar and Krunal Pandya have all been left out of the squad. In their place return Kohli, Bhuvneshwar, Shami and Kuldeep Yadav.
India’s batting is going to be well served with Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, and the two wicket-keepers in the squad.
Rishabh Pant was very disappointing against Bangladesh, and is going to feel the pressure to keep his place. Sanju Samson and Manish Pandey are both breathing down his neck in this squad.
The nature of the wickets will dictate the bowling choices, but Deepak Chahar should certainly start the series after recording the best T20 figures in history last time out.
West Indies lost 2-1 to Afghanistan in the T20 series prior to this clash with India and that series defeat will dent the confidence of Kieron Pollard’s men ahead of this tough test.
Fabian Allen has recovered from a knee injury, but Andre Russell remains out due to fitness concerns, and hence the Windies have retained a number of young talents.
West Indies has dropped Shai Hope and Alzarri Joseph from the squad that faced Afghanistan.
In their places have come Allen and Denesh Ramdin, who was out injured in the previous series. Nicholas Pooran is not going to be available for the first T20 because of the ban he picked up in the previous series.
The batting for the West Indies is going to include Evin Lewis, Lendl Simmons, Brandon King, Denesh Ramdin, Kieron Pollard, Sherfane Rutherford, and Fabian Allen.
This is a strong batting lineup with plenty of experience and T20 success at its back.
Sheldon Cottrell is going to lead the attack with support from Keemo Paul, Kesrick Williams, Hayden Walsh Jr., and Fabian Allen.
This is not a very strong attack and could have real trouble against the strong Indian batting lineup.
Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (c), Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Manish Pandey, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal
Evin Lewis, Lendl Simmons, Shimron Hetmyer, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Kieron Pollard (c), Sherfane Rutherford, Fabian Allen, Jason Holder, Kesrick Williams, Sheldon Cottrell, Hayden Walsh
West Indies’ tour of India started with a series against Afghanistan but their 2-1 defeat in the T20s will have done nothing for their confidence coming into this series with arguably the best team in the world right now.
India mean business for this particular series. They have plenty of quality with bat and ball – far more than the tourists – and they should get the series off to a flying start.
Team CricWizz predicts that India would beat West Indies in the first T20I at Hyderabad.
Cover image courtesy: The Cricket Lounge