The first T20I of the three-match series between India and West Indies is scheduled to be commencing on Wednesday at Eden Gardens in Kolkata. India registered a clean sweep in the three-match ODI series and they will be aiming to win the T2I series as well. Last year, under the captaincy of Rohit Sharma, Team whitewashed New Zealand in the last three-match T20 series at home. With KL Rahul unavailable for the series, either one of Ishan Kishan or Ruturaj Gaikwad will feature in the playing XI.
In the middle-order, they have got the likes of Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, and Rishabh Pant. However, perhaps, only three out of them will be able to feature in the playing XI. Yuzvendra Chahal will be leading the spin bowling attack as R Ashwin too is injured and unavailable. With Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami being rested Bhuvneshwar Kumar is the most experienced member of the attack. He will be supported by the likes of M Siraj, Harshal Patel, and Avesh Khan.
West Indies, on the other hand, are yet to win a game on their ongoing tour of India. West Indies have a great side on paper. They got a lot of power-hitters on their side, which makes them a daunting side in the T20s. At the top, they have got the likes of Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Darren Bravo, and Roston Chase.
However, how well the visitors execute their plans will be there to see. In the bowling unit, Sheldon Cottrell is likely to be seen opening the attack alongside Jason Holder. Odean Smith is likely to be third pace bowling option. As for the spin, the team will be banking on the services of Akeal Hosein and Fabien Allen.
Rohit Sharm and Indian team management will be having a selection conundrum. With Rahul out of the series, one of Kishan or Ruturaj Gaikwad will be expected to open the innings. Shardul Thakur, Deepak Chahar, Harshal Patel, and Venkatesh Iyer add depth to the batting line up and if the management decides to stick to go with Venkatesh, then they will have to pick someone between Suryakumar Yadav and Shreyas Iyer.
Probable XI: Ishan Kishan, Rohit Sharma (c), Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav/Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Venkatesh Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Harshal Patel, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal.
West Indies skipper, Kieron Pollard should be back in the XI after missing the last couple of ODIs. Early wickets were one of the reasons West Indies failed to win a match in the ODI series. Rohit will bank on Chahar and Siraj once again for the powerplay overs and that’s where the onus will be on Brandon King and Kyle Mayers to gain some early momentum. With the dew settling in, West Indies could also look to attack Chahal.
Probable XI: Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Rovman Powell, Kieron Pollard (c), Jason Holder, Fabian Allen, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Akeal Hosein, Sheldon Cottrell/Dominic Drakes.
Fantasy XI Prediction 1:
Ishan Kishan (vc), Nicholas Pooran, Rohit Sharma (c), Virat Kohli, Brandon King, Jason Holder, Kieron Pollard, Deepak Chahar, Harshal Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Akeal Hosein
Fantasy XI Prediction 2:
Ishan Kishan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (c), Shreyas Iyer, Jason Holder, Kieron Pollard (vc), Romario Shepherd, Finn Allen, Deepak Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Akeal Hosein