After the flurry of bids and counter-bids at the IPL auction, the action shifts to International cricket with India’s T20I series against West Indies. The Men In Blue can expect a tough fight from the visitors given their prowess in the shorter format.
The road to the T20 World Cup continues to take shape. India laid a good foundation with their 3-0 win over New Zealand last year. This time the hosts will have to face a West Indies side that are coming hot off a nervy series win over England.
While the Caribbean outfit were tame at best in the ODI series, their brute hitting skill and lack of patience works in favour here.
While Rohit Sharma has dismissed the prospect of experimentation, there are several names in the squad who could be given a go over the course of the three-match series. India are without KL Rahul and Axar Patel for the T20Is with Ruturaj Gaikwad and Kuldeep Yadav taking their place.
Washington Sundar was also a last-minute omission from the squad following an injury in the 3rd ODI.
With KL Rahul out, the second opener slot is available for Ishan Kishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad. The middle-order looks a certainty with a call to be taken on featuring one of Suryakumar Yadav and Shreyas Iyer. Venkatesh Iyer is likely to be backed in the shortest format in the absence of Hardik Pandya.
India probable playing XI: Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Venkatesh Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Mohammad Siraj.
The Caribbean side are in the midst of a reset following a dismal T20 World Cup campaign. With senior players seemingly out of the picture, the team will be hoping for new names to take up the opportunity.
All-rounders would be the key in this West Indies side given their form and potential. Kieron Pollard, Romario Shepherd, Jason Holder, and Odean Smith provide depth across both departments.
Several names in the West Indies unit fetched big bucks at the mega auction, which is a testament to their skills in the T20 format.
West Indies 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.
WAGING ODDS: INDIA (1.36) VS WEST INDIES (3.10)
India is the favorite and is priced at 1.36 meaning if you bet ₹100 on them and if they win the match, you’ll be making ₹136.
On the other hand, West Indies are the underdogs and priced at 3.10 meaning if you bet ₹100 on them and if they win the match, you’ll be making ₹310.
Expect a lot of sixes and runs with the small straight boundaries at the Eden Gardens. Early wickets would be key with the ball tending to wing under the lights at the venue as well. While West Indies pose a threat in the shortest format, India have a balanced squad to counter it and should take an early lead in the series.
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