India vs West Indies: Can a young India trump T20 specialists WI?
While India has often brought an ODI approach to 20-overs cricket, West Indies played large tracts of the World Cup as if in T20 mode. India will be expected to beat the West Indies despite them being the most dangerous in the shortest format.
It’s been almost a month since India crashed out of the World Cup following their semifinal loss to New Zealand. With the World Test Championship getting underway and the T20 World Cup in 14 months, Virat Kohli and his men are heading into an all-format tour against the West Indies.
The three-match T20I series marks the beginning of India's tour, one that is pivotal to try out the fringe players who are on selectors' minds.
Kohli was expected to be rested for the limited-overs leg of the tour but a full-strength squad has been picked barring the absence of star pacer Jasprit Bumrah who will join the side ahead of the Test series beginning August 22. All-rounder Hardik Pandya has been rested for the entire tour.
"We like to mix the experienced players with the youth. We have a very good blend" - Floyd Reifer, West Indies coach— ICC (@ICC) August 3, 2019
"There's no option but to get up again and work hard, do the same things over and over again" - Virat Kohli#WIvIND 1st T20I preview ????https://t.co/eFcA8UVf9e
It will be a crucial couple of weeks for Shreyas Iyer and Manish Pandey, who are back in the mix after being sidelined from India's 50-over World Cup plans. Pandey last played for India in November 2018 and Iyer in February 2018. With India looking to solidify their brittle middle-order in ODIs, both batsmen have a good opportunity to make their case in the coming six games.
Meanwhile, India’s squad for the T20Is has an influx of youngsters. Spin all-rounder Washington Sundar and pacers Khaleel Ahmed and Deepak Chahar are back while speedster Navdeep Saini and Deepak's brother Rahul are in line to make their India debut.
It was our collective dream to play for India - Chahar brothers— BCCI (@BCCI) August 2, 2019
From bowling on cement tracks to donning the India blue together - we track the lovely story of Deepak & Rahul Chahar - by @28anand
Full video here ????️????️https://t.co/SP9Biws0lK #WIvIND pic.twitter.com/c0udNPfSoS
With Rohit Sharma and a fit-again Shikhar Dhawan set to open, the number four spot seems likely to be occupied by K L Rahul, who has fond memories of the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium, having scored an unbeaten 110 in his last innings here almost three years ago.
From this tour onwards, Rishabh Pant will have more responsibility on his shoulders with the selectors backing him as the number one wicketkeeper in all formats amid little clarity over the future of Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
While India has often brought an ODI approach to 20-overs cricket, West Indies played large tracts of the World Cup as if in T20 mode. India will be expected to beat the West Indies even though they are most dangerous in the shortest format.
The explosive Kieron Pollard and spinner Sunil Narine are back in the side though Chris Gayle will only be seen in the ODIs. However, the Windies suffered a big blow after their star all-rounder Andre Russell was ruled out of the squad, having failed to recover from a knee injury.
"He doesn't think he'd be doing justice to other people who could be here and are 100%" – Brathwaite on Russell's knee troubles keeping him out of the first two T20Is v ????????https://t.co/v2rNhIR26D— ICC (@ICC) August 3, 2019
The West Indies have won as many matches as India (5) in their 11 T20I encounters to date. However, in the Caribbean nation, the hosts have a dominating 3-1 H2H record against India in five matches with one ending in no result.
West Indies: John Campbell, Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicolas Pooran, Kieron Pollard, Rovman Powell, Carlos Brathwaite (C), Keemo Paul, Sunil Narine, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas, Anthony Bramble, Andre Russell, Khary Pierre.
India: Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant, Krunal Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Rahul Chahar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini.