In the quest for the next year’s T20 World Cup, Virat Kohli and his troops are set to lock horns with West Indies in the three T20I matches followed by as many ODIs next month. Both the teams will be looking forward to finalizing their playing XI ahead of the marquee event.
India have been in a phenomenal run lately. After annihilating Bangladesh in the T20I and Test series, the Men in Blue will be hoping the replicate their performance against West Indies. In their last T20I endeavor, India won the three-match series against the ‘Tigers’ by 2-1. Deepak Chahar emerged as the performer of the series with his phenomenal bowling spells including a hat-trick in the final T20I.
India’s batting is going to be well served with the likes of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, and two wicket-keepers Rishabh Pant and Sanju Samson. In the absence of Shikhar Dhawan, it will be interesting to see who will steer the side’s top-order batting. With Rishabh Pant’s failure in cementing his spot in the team, Sanju Samson and Manish Pandey will be hoping to break into the starting squad.
Meanwhile, West Indies also have successfully built a strong squad comprising many in-form young prospects. Kieron Pollard and Co have many players who have showcased their forte in the Caribbean Premier League. In their previous T20I series against Afghanistan, Evin Lewis and Shimron Hetmyer delivered impressive performances with the bat.
The Caribbean bowling force will be bolstered by the likes of Jason Holder, Keemo Paul, and Sheldon Cottrell. Even though India are the favourites to win on their home soil, West Indies have the potential to turn the tables in their favour in T20Is. West Indies have always been regarded as the dark-horses of the shortest format of the game.
Pitch and Conditions
Dew is expected to play a vital role in the match. The wicket at Hyderabad is preferable for batting as the ground has witnessed many high-scoring encounters in the past. However, the spinners also have a large role to play with the big boundaries at the venue. The temperature will hover around 28 degrees Celcius according to AccuWeather and there are no chances of rain to interrupt the play.
Batting has always been the strength of the hosts. Along with a formidable batting attack comprising Rohit and Kohli, India also have the all-rounders’ trio of Washington Sundar, Ravindra Jadeja and Shivam Dube in their arsenal.
Shivam Dube and Washington Sundar, who have showcased their potential with their recent performances in the domestic circuit, are in contention to make it to the Playing XI. Experienced pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar is also expected to return back on the international stage. Shreyas Iyer was the last batsman to hit the nets ahead of the encounter. Manish Pandey is also in contention to start the game for India in place of Iyer.
Predicted XI: KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (C), Shreyas Iyer/Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (WK), Ravindra Jadeja, Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal
West Indies have delivered impressive performances against Afghanistan in their previous series. However, they have dropped Shai Hope and Alzarri Joseph from the squad that faced Afghanistan. In their places have come Fabian 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.
Predicted XI: Evin Lewis, Lendl Simmons/Brandon King, Shimron Hetmyer, Denesh Ramdin(wk), Kieron Pollard (C), Fabian Allen, Jason Holder, Keemo Paul, Sheldon Cottrell, Kesrick Williams, Hayden Walsh Jr
Probable Top Performers
KL Rahul – India | Evin Lewis– West Indies
TV – Star Sports 1, Star Sports 1 HD
Online – Hotstar
Match Timings – 19:00 local time, 13:30 GMT
The prediction is for India to win the match.
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