India vs West Indies T20 Series Preview

India vs West Indies T20 Series Preview

After a clean sweep in the ODI’s and the drama and commotion of the IPL auction, the focus now turns to the shortest format as India take on the West Indies in three T20s in Kolkata. Following their extremely poor performances at the 2021 T20 World Cup – where they were both knocked out in the Super 12s – this is an immensely important series for both sides as they look to reverse their fortunes in the shorter format ahead of the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia.

After their poor showing in the UAE, the West Indies are going through a transition in T20 cricket as they move on from their established veterans and T20 greats, Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo. Kieron Pollard’s side started 2022 with a 3-2 T20 series win over England thanks to some promising performances from their youngsters, and the West Indies will use these three matches at the venue of their last T20 World Cup triumph to give more game time to some of their exciting talents such as Odean Smith, Romario Shepherd and Akeal Hosein.

The Men in Blue will also want to improve their T20 form under new captain Rohit Sharma and look to rebuild their side with his philosophy ahead of the marquee tournament down under in eight months. Despite failing to make the semi-finals of the 2021 T20 World Cup, India have won each of their last six T20 internationals, including a 3-0 clean sweep over T20 finalists New Zealand in November, and remain incredibly tough to beat at home.

However, there will be plenty of issues Rohit Sharma and Rahul Dravid will want to address in this series, including sorting out who should bat in the middle-order after Virat Kohli and the balance of the side in terms of the all-rounder roles at number six and seven.

Team News 

India will be without opener KL Rahul in this series after the vice-captain suffered an upper hamstring strain while fielding in the second ODI last week, and left-hander Ishan Kishan is likely to take his place alongside Rohit Sharma at the top of the order. All-rounders Axar Patel and Washington Sundar will also miss out on this series due to injuries, and Deepak Hooda has been brought into the 18-man squad as cover.

The West Indies will be waiting on the fitness of their captain Kieron Pollard, who sat out the final two ODIs in Ahmedabad due to injury. Pollard’s leadership and six-hitting are incredibly important to this West Indian side, and if the 34-year-old isn’t fit, the visitors could replace him with Darren Bravo or all-rounder Roston Chase. 

Probable XI’s

India: Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, Suryakumar Yadav, Venkatesh Iyer, Harshal Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Siraj, Yuzvendra Chahal

West Indies: Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Kieron Pollard, Jason Holder, Romario Shepherd, Fabian Allen, Odean Smith, Akeal Hosein, Sheldon Cottrell