That Martin Guptill long-range direct hit to dismiss MS Dhoni will be lurking around the brains of so many Indians for a long time to come, but they have to move on and set themselves up for other challenges. Now, they have sailed all the way to Florida, United States of America, to face the Windies in a couple of T20 fixtures.
India and West Indies facing off in an ODI or a Test could be a very different prospect, but both sides enter as equals in the shortest format of the game. The Windies players love this format more than any other and it shows off when they step on the field. The last time they played in the United States, the Windies got better of India in a high-scoring thriller.
The likes of Shreyas Iyer, Navdeep Saini and Rahul Chahar will be trying to get a good impression with these fixtures. All these three youngsters are expected to be in the XI for the Men in Blue, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar leading the bowling attack. It will be a tough challenge for the Indians, but there definitely is enough potential.
Evin Lewis had a disappointing World Cup outing but he will continue opening alongside a new partner in John Campbell. Nicholas Pooran made a brilliant impression recently and will bat alongside Shimron Hetmyer, Pollard and Rovman Powell in the middle order. Carlos Brathwaite will be leading the lines for the Windies, with Oshane Thomas and Sheldon Cottrell taking care of the bowling department.
Predicted XI: Evin Lewis, John Campbell, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran (WK), Kieron Pollard, Rovman Powell, Carlos Brathwaite (C), Sunil Narine, Khary Pierre, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas
Rohit Sharma will be reuniting with his old partner in crime Shikhar Dhawan with KL Rahul and Virat Kohli taking care of the middle order. It will be interesting to see if Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer get some batting time in the middle. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Navdeep Saini and Khaleel Ahmed form a very unique bowling trio with Rahul Chahar and Krunal Pandya being the spinning options.
Predicted XI: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (c), Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Krunal Pandya, Rahul Chahar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Navdeep Saini, Khaleel Ahmed
Focus will be on:
Kieron Pollard (Windies)
One of T20 cricket’s all-time greats, Kieron Pollard and his pyrotechnics need no introduction. Age has been catching up with the all-rounder and clearly is impacting his game as well. Yet, he is someone who always steps up in the most unexpected circumstances and also loves playing against the Indians, so maybe we can expect something from him.
Rishabh Pant (India)
It looks pretty clear at this point in time that Rishabh Pant will be taking over the mantle from MS Dhoni behind the sticks for India, just the way he’s doing in Tests. He still has a long way to go and has some points to prove. This could be one of the best chances for the youngster to make a stellar impact on the fans and most importantly, the selectors.
Head to head:
Matches played – 11 | Windies won – 5 | India won – 5 | No Result – 1
43.95 – After Babar Azam and Virat Kohli, KL Rahul has the 3rd highest batting average in T20Is (Minimum 25 innings).
TV – Sony Ten 1, Sony Ten 1 HD, Sony Ten 3, Sony Ten 3 HD
Online– Sony LIV
Match Timings – 20:00 IST and 10:30 local time
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