The last three matches of a tour where the end was always known, but the journey somehow became more interesting with every passing match. The test ended on a bland note with India sweeping the series 2-0. Then, came the ODIs and somehow the things started to spice up. With Windies reaching 300+ in the first two completed matches and then winning the third one forced India to take this team seriously and bring in the big guns. Now, they will be playing the format that they enjoy. Windies players are always in high demand all over the world as T20 specialists. Most of their regular players prefer to play in leagues more than the national team which has always been clear from frequent team changes. Let us take a look at the probable playing 11 of what can be the first of three rollercoaster rides.
Overall Matches – 8
West Indies- 5
No Result: 1
Eden Gardens, Kolkata
The perfect batting ground with shorter boundaries and a flat pitch, what more can anyone wish from a T20 match which will be heavily dominated by the batsmen. Both the teams have batting as their strong suit; hence they can rely on it completely on this ground. There will be dew as well due to the late evening start.
STATS – T20I
|Matches won batting first||2|
|Matches won bowling first||4|
|Average 1st Inns scores||148|
|Average 2nd Inns scores||128|
|Highest total recorded||201/5 (20 Ov) by PAK vs BAN|
|Lowest total recorded||70/10 (15.4 Ov) by BAN vs NZ|
|Highest score chased||161/6 (19.4 Ov) by WI vs Eng|
|Lowest score defended||145/8 (20 Ov) by NZ vs BAN|
India will be playing their first T20 series without Dhoni since the time this format started. Dhoni has always been an integral part of the side. But they will have to learn to learn to play without him as he will be retiring most probably after the World cup next year. This will give other younger players to try their luck in the team to find a spot. Karthik and Pant will contest for the spot of the wicketkeeper. The other Pandya brother might get the cap as a genuine all-rounder in place of his brother. The sixteen that the management has selected for this three-match series are all a fit in the side so it will be interesting to see who makes the cup as the playing 11.
Braithwaite, Pollard, Russel and Darren Bravo are back in the side to play the format most suited for the Windies side. They are the only team to win the world T20 twice. This format suits the mindset of the players as most of them are hard hitters. We can see the full-blown form of what we saw in glimpses in the first three ODIs. They will want to end this long tour on a soothing note by bagging this series. The new players like Hetmeyer have already shown what they can achieve and with support from the most celebrated T20 specialists like Russel and Pollard, this team can be unstoppable.
|Rohit Sharma||Rovman Powell|
|Shikhar Dhawan||Darren Bravo|
|KL Rahul||Shimron Hetmyer|
|Manish Pandey||Sherfane Rutherford|
|Rishabh Pan (WK)||Kieron Pollard|
|Dinesh Karthik||Carlos Brathwaite|
|Krunal Pandya||Denesh Ramdin (wk)|
|Kuldeep Yadav||Fabian Allen|
|Bhuvneshwar Kumar||Khary Pierre|
|Khaleel Ahmed||Oshane Thomas|
|Jasprit Bumrah||Obed McCoy|