Lauderhill: Back on the field after their World Cup debacle, Team India will start their preparations for next year’s World T20 in the first T20I of the three-match series against the West Indies at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium on Saturday.
Before leaving for the West Indies tour, skipper Virat Kohli had said the line-up of such trophies — World T20s in 2020 and 2021 — ensured ‘players always had something to play for, look forward to’. And thus, the three-match rubber will provide him with the chance of giving youngsters an opportunity to showcase their talent in the shortest format of the game.
The series will serve as a great opportunity for the likes of Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer and Khaleel Ahmed, who missed out on a chance to play in the 50-over World Cup in UK.
All these three players performed well for the India ‘A’ side in the Caribbean Islands and would want to continue with their form and impress the captain as well as the selectors for future.
The series could also see Rahul Chahar and Navdeep Saini make their international debuts as many senior bowlers have been rested. The only experienced campaigner in the pace bowling line-up is Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
In the batting department, Rohit Sharma is almost certain to be joined by his regular partner Shikhar Dhawan who got injured in England. K.L. Rahul will most likely be batting after Kohli if the team management doesn’t wish to give Iyer a go. This should be followed by promising wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant.
The Men in Blue will go into the series as favourites even though West Indies are counted among the most dangerous sides in this format of the game.
The hosts, led by Carlos Brathwaite, have the likes of Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine and Andre Russell who are more than capable of turning the game in a flash. In bowling department too, they boast of having the likes of Sheldon Cottrell and Oshane Thomas who are match-winners in T20 format.
Thus, fans can be rest assured of some fireworks in the three-match T20I series.
Squads India: Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma (VC), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (WK), Krunal Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Rahul Chahar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini.
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.