Man of the Match: NA Saini
India will start as clear favorites to win this opening T20I game against West Indies
Our prediction is India to win!
Host West Indies will be looking to get off to a good start when they face India in the opening game of the T20I series in Florida on Sunday.
For West Indies, Captain Carlos Brathwaite will be hoping that the side can deliver a clinical performance with the bat and ball. The side will need to raise its overall in order to push a formidable unit like India in the three-match T20I series.
On the other hand, India has made changes to their T20 squad and will be keen to do well in this series. Captain Virat Kohli will lead India for this three-match T20I series against West Indies.
Carlos Brathwaite-led unit will be looking to start their home season on a good note. For the three-match T20I series, West Indies have included opening batsman John Campbell, wicket-keeper Anthony Bramble and all-rounder Khary Pierre for T20I series.
The home side will be heavily reliant on the likes of Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetymer and Kieron Pollard to do the bulk of the scoring. Since August 2017, Lewis has topped the batting charts for West Indies in the T20 format with 220 runs at an average of 31.42. Left-hander holds an excellent record against India in the T20 format. Shimron Hetymer is another promising talent who needs to deliver big runs for West Indies in the 20-over format. Left-hander has produced creditable performances in Test and ODI format and will be keen to make an impression in this three-match T20I series.
All-rounder Kieron Pollard has rediscovered his form with the bat so far this season. He has delivered phenomenal performances in the Pakistan Super League and then for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League. With renewed vigor and passion, Pollard win be keen to make an impact with the bat for the side against India.
Wicket-keeper Nicholas Pooran showed his class and caliber with the bat for West Indies in the recently concluded Cricket World Cup. Pooran has shown consistency with the bat and will be looking to contribute towards the team’s cause in this series. Andre Russell, Khary Pierre and Rovman Powell are all quality all-rounders that can deliver crucial performances with bat and ball.
In the bowling department, the side will be relying on the likes of Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas and Keemo Paul to deliver breakthroughs with the new ball. Sunil Narine and Khary Pierre are two prominent spin options for the side in the T20 format.
Evin Lewis, John Campbell, Shimron Hetymer, Rovman Powell/Khary Pierre, Andre Russell, Kieron Pollard, Carlos Brathwaite (captain), Sunil Narine, Oshane Thomas, Keemo Paul, Sheldon Cottrell.
Kieron Pollard, Shimron Hetmyer, Carlos Brathwaite, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, John Campbell, Sheldon Cottrell, Sunil Narine, Keemo Paul, Evin Lewis, Oshane Thomas
On the other hand, Virat Kohli and co. will be looking to start their season on a decent note when they take on West Indies in this T20I series. Shreyas Iyer, Navdeep Saini and Rahul Chahar are new players included in the T20 squad for the series. Iyer has been a consistent performer for Delhi in the Indian Premier League. Pace bowler Navdeep Saini certainly impressed the selectors with his pace and bounce. Rahul Chahar also had an excellent season with the bat in the Indian Premier League.
In the batting department, the side will be relying on the likes of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, and Virat Kohli to produce the bulk of the runs. Sharma has topped the batting charts for India in the T20 format since August 2017. He has accumulated 967 runs in 32 matches at an average of 33.34 with three centuries and five half-centuries to his name. The opening batsman will be keen to do well and get India off to a good start in the T20I series.
Besides, Virat Kohli has been a consistent performer with the bat. Since August 2017, Kohli has scored 515 runs in 18 matches at an average of 42.91 with four half-centuries to his name. Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, and Manish Pandey will need to produce runs for the side in this three-match T20I series.
India has picked Ravendra Jadeja and Krunal Pandya for this three-match series. All-rounder Ravendra Jadeja proved his mettle with the bat in the World Cup and will be keen to look to more of the same in this T20I series.
In the bowling department, the will be relying on the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed and Deepak Chahar to provide wickets with the new ball. Washington Sundar is another viable spin option for the side for this series.
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Virat Kohli (captain), Rishabh Pant (wk), Manish Pandey/Shreyas Iyer, Krunal Pandya, Ravendra Jadeja, Khaleel Ahmed, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Navdeep Saini/Deepak Chahar.
Khaleel Ahmed, Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Manish Pandey, Washington Sundar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ravindra Jadeja, Rishabh Pant, Krunal Pandya, Virat Kohli, NA Saini
Traditionally, the pitch generally favors the batsmen in this format. The weather forecast for the game to be played on Sunday is expected to have thunderstorms in the evening.
Central Broward Regional Park Stadium Turf Ground in Lauderhill is going to host the opening T20I game between India and West Indies. The home side has lost their last two T20 games at this venue. India lost their T20 game by one run against West Indies played in 2016.
Both the sides will be looking to win the toss and bat first on this surface. Majority of the games played at Lauderhill have been won by sides batting first.
After analysis of both the squads, India will start as clear favorites to win this opening T20I game against West Indies. Virat Kohli-led unit has plenty of firepower in their batting and bowling lineup. Expect India to beat West Indies in this opening T20I game.