After a 2-0 victory in Tests and 3-1 in ODIs, India will take on West Indies in the first of the three T20Is to be played in the last part of this series. The match will take place at Eden Gardens, Kolkata on 4th of November.
There have been quite a few changes in both the teams. The most discussed was the exclusion of MS Dhoni from the squad making way for dashing Rishabh Pant. Virat Kohli will be sitting out too handing the captaincy to in-form Rohit Sharma.
West Indies called back Darren Bravo and all-rounder Kieron Pollard whereas Carlos Brathwaite will be back as the captain.
Despite being on the experimentation mode India comfortably won the Test and ODI series against West Indies with guest showing some resistance in a couple of ODI managing to win one of them at Pune.
If a crushing win in the fourth ODI is anything to go by, things look certainly bright for India in the T20 leg of the tournament.
As has been the norm recently, Rohit will be leading this team as Virat Kohli has been rested. Rohit wouldn’t mind that for he has a fantastic record as a captain in limited overs cricket recently that included Asia Cup.
Rishabh Pant, who is replacing MS Dhoni, will be looking to make a mark as wicketkeeper-batsman whereas uncapped Krunal Pandya will be looking to fill the void created by his injured brother Hardik Pandya.
Washington Sundar and Shahbaz Nadeem are picked as an all-rounder and a spinner respectively.
WEST INDIES PREVIEW
There is no doubt about West Indies being a formidable T20 side but their record in T20I this year are in complete contradiction. To make the matter worse they are missing the T20 stars in Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels.
West Indies would be buoyed by the inclusion of Darren Bravo and Kiron Pollard both of whom are returning to the side after more than a year’s break. And the comeback of Andre Russel, a very handy bowler and one of the most destructive T20 batsman, would have boosted their confidence further.
Oshane Thomas looks like is a great find for West Indies. He harried Shikhar Dhawan almost got Kohli out, had the catch been held at the slips, while defending 104 in the fourth ODI.
West Indies need to draw inspiration from their T20I captain Carlos Brathwaite who became a celebrity winning them the T20I World Cup final in 2016 with 4 consecutive sixes of Ben Stokes, incidentally, at the same venue for this match - Eden Gardens.
Eden Gardens is a big ground and the pitch remains true throughout the course of the match. Out of a total of six matches played here, 4 have been won by the team batting second. There might be a bit of due in the later part of the match. So, the teams winning the toss should look to chase at the Eden Gardens.
It is difficult to predict a game of T20 cricket where West Indian team is involved. There are so match-winners in their squad and yet they have managed to lose so many T20 Internationals in recent times.
India, on the other hand, are already looking to build the team T20I World Cup and at home conditions. The momentum is on India’s side and we think that they would ride it to win the first T20 International against the West Indies at Eden Gardens.