After swatting aside Bangladesh with historical highs in the Test series, India get back to planning for the 2020 T20 World Cup with West Indies in town for a three-match series beginning at Hyderabad on December 6.
India bring Virat Kohli back after a brief rest in the Bangladesh T20Is. West Indies will be missing Chris Gayle and Andre Russell, but are close to full-strength and will hope to challenge the hosts.
With Shikhar Dhawan injured, India have given a chance for KL Rahul to stake his claim at the top of the order. There are interesting changes in the bowling department too. Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav has been given a life line, while Mohammed Shami is given a chance to stake his white-ball format claim.
All said and done, it is still a top-heavy batting that drives India. Kohli’s comeback strengthens that, while the inconsistent bowling unit gives West Indies a chance.
The Windies started a new era under Kieron Pollard’s captaincy against Afghanistan in the recent series. Although they have won the ODIs 3-0, a 2-1 loss in the T20Is was an apt indicator of how much distance they are yet to cover.
Pollard will have to do without the suspended Nicholas Pooran for the first T20I, but the returning Denesh Ramdin provides experience. While Andre Russell’s absence leaves a big void, the CPL stars like Fabian Allen, Brandon King and Khary Pierre gives Pollard enough options with the ball.
India had a great home summer so far, blanking their opponents along the way. However, West Indies in T20Is provide a stern test especially considering the reboot in white ball formats from the Islanders. That said, it is still advantage India when it comes to batting. The bowling changes might work in favour of the Windies, but with the likes of Deepak Chahar and the wrist spin combo of KulCha, India will look to exploit the conditions.
History & Statistics
India have won ten of their last 14 completed home T20Is.
Seven of India’s last eight completed home T20Is were won by the chasing side.
India have won their last six T20Is against West Indies, with their last loss coming in July 2017.
West Indies have lost eight of their last nine T20Is.
West Indies have lost ten of their last 13 T20Is away from home, while including neutral venues.
West Indies have lost five of their last six T20Is played in India.
KL Rahul is a very exciting player who enjoys success across formats. His numbers in T20I format (Avg. 42.34, SR 145.37) speak volumes of his potential. Rahul has warmed up for the tournament really well with three 50s in his last six T20s coming into this series.
Kesrick Williams made his name in the T20Is for the Windies and has had a successful series against Afghanistan. Two of the three matches saw him end up as the highest wicket-taker.