India vs West Indies 1st T20 – LIVE
|Channel Name||Channel Link|
|Star sports 1(Mobile)||Watch|
|Star sports 1(Desktop)||Watch|
|India opted to field|
India won by 5 wkts
|Windies 109/8 (20.0)||India 110/5 (17.5)|
The Windies have never played a T20I bilateral series in India before. Yet, for the three-match series opener against the hosts, the visitors pick up right from where they’d signed off on their last trip to this part of the world.
Eden Gardens has been a witness to one of the finest pain-relieving memories in West Indies’ recent history. On Sunday, they return to the scene of their stunning heist in 2016, under the leadership of the man who became a household name that April evening, Carlos Brathwaite.
Without any disrespect towards their short-lived Test and ODI resurgence over the last couple of months, at home and on this tour respectively, if Windies were to pose any real threat to India on this tour all bets would have been on the shortest format. That despite the fact that their recent run in T20 internationals doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence.
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Since becoming ‘Champions’ in 2016, Windies have played ten T20I series and lost half of them. A solitary win in nine games in 2018, barring their victorious outing against World XI for a charity game at Lord’s, has prompted wholesale changes in their personnel. For other reasons ranging from non-acceptance of central contract to withdrawals, injury-forced or otherwise, this squad looks distinctly different from the one that lifted the ICC World Twenty20 Trophy. Only Brathwaite and Dinesh Ramdin return from that winning eleven; even Andre Russell is ruled out of the series. Add to the mix five uncapped players lined up for their probable debuts.
The new-look team has been all handpicked after impressing in the domestic competitions, primarily CPL 2018. So much so that Darren Bravo, who has been seen as a Test specialist all along, has broken into the 20-overs side after four years courtesy a spectacular season with Trinbago Knight Riders. As has been the case with Nicholas Pooran, who last represented Windies in T20Is in 2016. Shimron Hetmyer, who has already showcased his class in the preceding ODIs, too was fast-tracked after ending the season with the highest tally for a Caribbean player in the league – 440 runs in 12 innings at a strike-rate of 148.14 – and third best overall. Likewise, Oshane Thomas’s tally of 18 wickets was highest for an uncapped local player in the 2018 edition of CPL. Kieron Pollard’s impending international comeback after more than a year’s hiatus, and Brathwaite availability lend the much-needed Caribbean flair to this young side that is otherwise missing some of it’s biggest T20 exponents.
Probably that’s also why it isn’t fair to read too much into the skewed head-to-head record between the two sides. India have lost only two of the 13 T20I series they’ve played post 2016 World T20, both to Windies.
For the hosts, the build-up to the series has been hijacked by the selection bombshell that saw MS Dhoni being left out, followed by the several attempts of MSK Prasad and Virat Kohli to quash the phasing-him-out theory. Nevertheless, the absence of former skipper, the current skipper and the injured Hardik Pandya has given the hosts a plethora of options to try in the middle-order, which now bears a relatively inexperienced look. Rohit Sharma, the stand-in skipper, has stressed it’s over to the newbies to ‘show us what they’ve got’.
Krunal Pandya, who had been with the squad in England as a replacement for Washington Sundar, has been named in India’s 12-man shortlist ahead of the offie and is likely to take up younger brother Harik’s all-rounder slot at No. 7 in his first-ever game in India colours. Likewise, Khaleel Ahmed could debut in the shortest format should India decide to persist with a left-arm pacer to add variation to their bowling attack.
When: India vs Windies, 1st T20I on Sunday, November 4 at 7 PM IST
Where: Eden Gardens, Kolkata
What to expect: A typical T20 run fest, aided by small boundaries. An unexpected shower earlier in the week forced the ground to be under the covers, but it has dried out well in the three days since then. There is no forecast for rain on match day, however, dew will be a factor given the 7 PM start.
India: In their only practice session ahead of the series opener, a full-strength Indian squad spent close to two hours in the Kolkata heat, with Shikhar Dhawan stretching the support staff for a little longer. Incidentally, Dinesh Karthik spent more time doing the keeping drills but it’s Rishabh Pant who’s been named in India’s 12 as the ‘keeper for game one, on expected lines. Krunal and Khaleel, or at least one of them, is set to receive their maiden T20I cap tomorrow.
India’s 12-man shortlist: Rohit Sharma (C), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant (wk), Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, Krunal Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Khaleel Ahmed, Yuzvendra Chahal
Seven of West Indies’ T20 specialists on this tour including Brathwaite have been sweating it out at the Eden Gardens under floodlights since Thursday. The buzz, though has been surrounding the local KKR guy, Russell, but with the allrounder ruled out, the home fans will deal with a touch of disappointment.
Squad: Carlos Brathwaite (C), Fabian Allen, Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer, Keemo Paul, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin, Sherfane Rutherford, Oshane Thomas, Khary Pierre, Obed McCoy, Rovman Powell, Nicholas Pooran
Did you know?
For the first time in their T20I history, India will be playing a home T20I without MS Dhoni.
Pant has been on superb form in 2018 in the shortest format scoring 1125 runs at a SR of 177.16. He has hit the second fastest T20 100 (off 32 balls) in SMA Trophy 2017/18 and the highest individual score in IPL by an Indian player in IPL 2018 (128*).
Kieron Pollard is all set to play his maiden T20 International in India after playing 147 T20s here in IPL and World T20 League here. In the recently concluded CPL, he scored his maiden T20 century – after a long wait of 383 innings.
What they said:
“Dhoni has been a massive player for us over the years without a doubt. His experience in the middle will be missed. But again, Rishabh and Dinesh are both keepers and they have this great opportunity to come and perform and show [us] what they’re capable of.” – Rohit Sharma, on the chatter surrounding Dhoni’s absence.
“India still start as favourites in my opinion. But that being said, I guess it was a personal milestone. It was a good night for myself and for West Indies cricket. But that’s history. We now have a very exciting squad and it’s for us to find a best way to get the best from each player,” – Carlos Brathwaite on returning to the venue of their 2016 World T20 win.
India (From): Rohit Sharma(c), Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, Rishabh Pant(w), Krunal Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, K Khaleel Ahmed, Yuzvendra Chahal, Washington Sundar, Shreyas Iyer, Umesh Yadav, Shahbaz Nadeem
Windies (From): Rovman Powell, Nicholas Pooran, Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer, Denesh Ramdin(w), Sherfane Rutherford, Kieron Pollard, Carlos Brathwaite(c), Fabian Allen, Keemo Paul, Oshane Thomas, Khary Pierre, Obed McCoy
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