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India vs West Indies: 1st T20I Preview: Teams Renew Old Rivalry

The India vs West Indies series kicks off with a three-match T20I series, the first of which will be played at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad. Thiruvananthapuram and Mumbai will host the second and the third T20Is respectively. India then play a three-match ODI series between 15 to 22 December to wrap up the tour.

The India vs West Indies series also kicks off the World T20 preparations for both teams for the World T20 to be played in Australia next year. Ahead of the start of the series India are placed fifth in the ICC T20I rankings while specialists of this format, the Windies are languishing at the 10th spot.

Image result for Virat Kohli T20I
Photo Source: (bcci.tv)

While Virat Kohli is back in the Indian T20I squad after being rested in the series against Bangladesh, Kieron Pollard returns to the Windies side as the captain of the squad. Evin Lewis, Jason Holder, Shimron Hetmyer and Nicholas Pooran are the other key players in the Windies squad.

The comeback of Kohli has made the Indian T20I squad look stronger than before. Along with Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami are the other senior players in the side, Shami and Bhuvi are making a comeback to the T20I squads after a long layoff. Another impressive addition to the squad is Sanju Samson who has been recalled as a replacement for Shikhar Dhawan who injured his knee in the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy which saw him being ruled out of the entire series.

Image result for kieron pollard vs afghanistan
Photo Source: (AP)

The Windies are in India since November having played a complete series against Afghanistan in Lucknow. They won the ODI series 3-0, lost the T20I series rather surprisingly and came back to win the only Test match. Having spent some time in India and playing in Indian conditions, they should be well prepared for the series against India.

The game is expected to be a high-scoring one keeping in view the power-hitters in both the teams. The venues for all the three T20Is have batting-friendly pitches to make the job easier for the batters of both sides.

India have had a year to remember so far in 2019. They reached the semi-finals of the World Cup and since then has won against South Africa Bangladesh at home. They have been unbeaten in 12 Test series at home starting since February 2013. Their 2-0 series win against Bangladesh being the latest.

Windies on the other hand, have been struggling with issues with the board which is reflecting on their performance. They did not have a World Cup to remember after they won just two of their nine games to make a group stage exit. Australia, England, India and even Bangladesh managed to beat them in the group stage.

Their recent T20I series loss against Afghanistan is an indication of the inexperience in their team at the moment. However, against India, they have a chance to change things by coming up with a competitive performance. A few of their T20 specialists are back in the side to give their squad a look of solidity.

West Indies in the past have managed to come up with surprising performances in the past and their World T20 triumph is an example of that. A dangerous side despite the inexperience in the team, Windies are expected to give a fighting performance in the upcoming series.

Also Read: Watch: Kieron Pollard Outwits Umpire to Change No-Ball Decision

In this high-profile series, while both teams have power-hitters in their team, the experience in the bowling attack between both teams is what is expected to decide the fate of the series.

India’s T20 Squad

Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Shikhar Dhawan (replaced by Sanju Samson), KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Deepak Chahar, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

West Indies T20 Squad

Sunil Ambris, Shai Hope, Khary Pierre, Rostan Chase, Alzarri Joseph, Kieron Pollard (captain), Sheldon Cottrell, Brandon King, Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Romario Shepherd, Jason Holder, Keemo Paul, Hayden Walsh Jr.

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