Team India gear up to face West Indies in the two limited-overs series starting with the T20I one in Hyderabad. The two sides had last met in August when the Indian side thrashed the Windies 3-0, and that too quite convincingly. Here, Kieron Pollard would hope to overturn that result as he would lead the West Indian unit, which carries immense potential but has been lacking in efficiency over a vast span of time now.
Virat Kohli has returned to lead the team after Rohit Sharma captained the side to a 2-1 victory against Bangladesh last month. Kohli had taken a break from that particular series but would now return at the helm whereas Shikhar Dhawan would now miss the series due to an injury so Sanju Samson returns to the squad after initially not being selected for this particular three-match series. Here, we preview the upcoming match in detail going ahead:
Three Key Players for India:
1. KL Rahul:
KL Rahul has finally returned to form and will be a key man for Team India.
KL Rahul silenced his critics with a sublime half-century in the decider T20I against Bangladesh last month and Dhawan’s injury means that Rahul would now attain the opportunity to open the batting throughout the course of the next three games. That is the most ideal position where the 27-year-old prefers to play at and he would be edging to get some more valuable runs under his belt to cement his spot in the shortest format of the game. Rahul is a fantastic stroke-maker who relies on sheer timing and at times even brute force to milk out boundaries and maximums to shoot up the scoring rate in the field restricted overs; an aspect where the Indian team has looked rather feeble in recent times.
2. Shreyas Iyer:
Iyer has a lot to prove in the T20I Series v West Indies. Image: BCCI
Shreyas Iyer has slotted into the key middle-order spot seamlessly and that emphasizes what a perfect fit he could be to strengthen the core of India’s batting order. He has the tendency to take up the responsibility when asked for and can go berserk against the spinners when they operate majorly in the middle overs.
He has a widespread range of shots at his disposal and carefully threads the gaps against the pacers to seek boundaries when wickets fall early in the first six overs. He is more of an all-round batsman who can function anywhere in the top five batting positions and that further adds layers of credible dimensions to his natural gameplay. Iyer is an attacking batsman but doesn’t refrain away from taking singles and rotating the strike most importantly to keep the scoreboard ticking when required. He would be a key component of this Indian team.
3. Bhuvneshwar Kumar:
Bhuvneshwar Kumar marks his return to the Indian team after a long injury layoff which means that he hasn’t been seen in any international cricketing action in roughly the past three-four months. The Indian pace attack appeared a bit weak against Bangladesh and the return of Bhuvneshwar along with Mohammed Shami means that the Indian team has roped in the senior pros to take on the mantle and build on towards their preparations to next year’s World Cup.
It would be interesting to observe how Bhuvneshwar deals with the competition that Deepak Chahar poses who had endured an imperious series against Bangladesh as many have drawn the similarities in Bhuvi and Deepak’s bowling styles and natural approach to fast bowling.
Factors that will decide the game for India:
How do the wrist spinners tackle the southpaw threat of West Indies?
Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal are back for a limited-overs assignment together for the first time since the conclusion of the World Cup back in July. They would most likely work in tandem for the Indian side but the southpaw batsmen that the West Indian team comprises of in abundance would post a major threat to them as the likes of Evin Lewis, Sherfane Rutherford, Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer and Fabian Allen would be edging to capitalize on this aspect and rack up runs at an excellent scoring rate in the eight overs that the Kuldeep-Chahal duo would ideally bowl. It is a double-edged sword, as aggression imposed by the Caribbean batsmen could come back to bite them too, and hence it makes up for a relishing contest altogether.
Lack of any complacency from the
Team India cannot afford to be complacent against the Windies.
Team India has been absolutely ruthless in all formats of the game since the tour of the Caribbean that commenced after the World Cup. However, they need to be wary of any sort of complacency that could hurt the team’s chances in the series. Three-match series’ provides very little chance for teams to strike a comeback after going down in either of the games. South Africa managed to level their T20I series against India by a margin of 1-1 in September and had to come back to win two consecutive matches after going down in the first T20I against Bangladesh. The Indian team would be hoping to register a clean sweep in both the series’ against West Indies and a flawless performance sans any complacency or bluster would be the key factor towards that.
Predicted Indian playing XI:
Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (c), Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami/Deepak Chahar
Date: 6th December 2019
Time: 7:00 AM IST
Venue: Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad
The match will be broadcast across Star’s multiple channels and can also be streamed live on Hotstar.