India vs West Indies, 1st T20I, Hyderabad: Preview, prediction, likely XIs

India vs West Indies, 1st T20I, Hyderabad: Preview, prediction, likely XIs

Nicholas Pooran Virat Kohli India West Indies

West Indies' somewhat long tour of India moves on to its second leg. After playing Afghanistan for 7 matches across all three formats, they will now play 3 T20Is and 3 ODIs against India.

West Indies, still the defending champions of the World T20, have not quite looked like a great side over the past few years. In fact, since that trophy back in 2016, they have won only two bilateral series involving 3 or more T20Is – against Afghanistan (at home, 2017) and in Bangladesh (a year ago). They have lost 8 of their 9 T20Is this year, losing all three series (0-3 against both England and India at home and 1-2 against Afghanistan here).

However, things have started to look better since a reshuffle in the squad. Carlos Brathwaite was sacked, some big names were left out, and CPL stars like Brandon King, Hayden Walsh Jr, and Romario Shepherd were drafted in, while Kieron Pollard was named captain. West Indies might have lost the T20Is 1-2 to Afghanistan, but they did whitewash them 3-0.

As already mentioned, India have already swept West Indies in West Indies earlier this year. While there will no Jasprit Bumrah, India have included Virat Kohli, Mohammed Shami, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and Kuldeep Yadav in their squad, which probably means that they will experiment less and less with the World T20 just a year away.

India have won 10 of their last 15 T20I series (or tournaments), but 4 of their 5 failures have come in their last 6 series. They have won 9 and lost 8 matches over this period, so they will have to push themselves.

Despite that, India will take field as favourites.

Head to head

At one point West Indies held a 5-2 lead over India in T20Is. However, India have won the last 6 T20Is to bring the head-to-head equation to 8-5 in their favour. They also lead 3-1 on Indian soil, their only defeat coming in the 2016 World T20 semi-final.

Key players

Virat Kohli (India): Kohli, the second-highest run-getter in T20I history, had missed the Bangladesh series, which allowed his vice-captain Rohit Sharma to take an 89-run lead over him. Kohli would want to reclaim the throne.

Evin Lewis (West Indies): Lewis can be inconsistent, but once he gets going there is little they can do to stop him. He has 2 hundreds from 6 T20Is against India at a near-absurd strike rate of 181; India will be wary of him.

Likely XIs

India: KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (c), Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Shivam Dube, Washington Sundar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal.

West Indies: Lendl Simmons, Evin Lewis, Brandon King, Shimron Hetmyer, Kieron Pollard (c), Denesh Ramdin (wk), Fabian Allen, Jason Holder, Keemo Paul, Sheldon Cottrell, Kesrick Williams.

Prediction

India to win.