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INDvWI, Only T20 – West Indies Predicted XI

West Indies have a plenty of stars in their side going into the game and India must be wary of each of them.

Jason Holder v India
West Indies celebrate. (Photo by JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)

After losing the ODI series by a 3-1 margin, West Indies are tipped to fare much better in the one-off T20. Sabina Park will be agog to see their favourite son Chris Gayle in operation on his home ground for the first time in T20 internationals. India has to ponder upon a combination after a lot of players doing well in the ODI series.

West Indies are the current world champions in T20 cricket. Gayle will walk out to take the field tomorrow alongside his fellow world cup winning members Kieron Pollard, Samuel Badree and Marlon Samuels. It was a brave call by the selectors to not included Lendl Simmons in the squad, who won the West Indies the semifinal game at the World T20 last year against India. ODI skipper Jason Holder has been rested from the side which will be led by Carlos Brathwaite. All in all, the hosts have a formidable side which will challenge India.

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Virat Kohli is said to be in line to open the innings alongside Ajinkya Rahane to provide India balance. Maybe, this way, they could get Rishabh Pant in the side to play his 2nd T20 International after warming the bench the entire ODI series. No news on Yuvraj’s fitness is out yet so maybe Dinesh Karthik will get another chance to don the Indian jersey.

Let us have a look at the Predicted XI of West Indies

Openers (Chris Gayle and Chadwick Walton)

Gayle will make sure a lot of people turn up to watch the game. The Jamaican will be seen in West Indies colours for the first time since the World T20 in 2016. He isn’t the same player he was a couple of years ago but can still be a handful with the years of experience he has gathered playing in various T20 leagues around the world.

Walton has been given an extended run after he scored just 51 runs in three innings against Afghanistan last month. Batting with Gayle, he must try to give his partner time to settle and hence take the imitative early in the innings to not put much pressure on the Jamaican. He will also take the big gloves behind the wicket.

Middle Order (Marlon Samuels, Jason Mohammad and Kieron Pollard)

There were doubts about the effectiveness of Samuels which were doused by the 36-year old by scoring a career-best 89* against the Afghans in the final T20 at home last month. In 3 games, Samuels made 146 runs at 73 though his strike rate remained an underwhelming 114.06. He will be the key in the middle order and can guide the home side towards a decent total if they bat first.

Jason Mohammad got off to starts but couldn’t go on to convert them into big scores. This T20 gives another opportunity to Mohammad to showcase his batting talents. A big hitter of the ball, Mohammad is likely to bat at No. 4 in Lendl Simmons absence.

Kieron Pollard needs no introduction to T20 cricket. With 375 T20 games behind him, Pollard stands the most experienced player in this format by a comfortable margin. He, like Gayle, has plied his trade across the world playing as a freelancer. Batting at No. 5, Pollard will provide the much-needed fireworks towards the end of the innings. He tonks the ball a long way and can be a handful with the ball in hand, where he looks to get pace off the ball.

All-rounders (Carlos Brathwaite and Rovman Powell)

Skipper Brathwaite will always be remembered for smacking Ben Stokes for four consecutive sixes in the last over of the finals to win the World Cup for the West Indies. His career didn’t flourish much post that assault, though he is a handy medium pacer. Brathwaite’s batting has improved lately and he needs to lead from the front against India.

Powell has been backed by the selectors a lot but the all-rounder hasn’t repaid the faith yet. He got to the 30-run mark twice in the ODI series but failed to capitalise on the starts. Powell needs to make the most of these opportunities if he wants to establish himself in international cricket. Given his inexperience, he is unlikely to get a bowl in this game.

Bowlers (Sunil Narine, Samuel Badree, Kesrick Williams and Jerome Taylor)

After showing his credential with the bat in the IPL earlier in the year, Sunil Narine can be used at the top of the order. He had an excellent series against Afghanistan last month where he picked 4 sticks from 3 outings going at just 5.63 runs an over. Though the Indians read him well but Narine would still be a force to reckon with on the low and slow surface of Sabina Park.

Samuel Badree specialises in T20 cricket. He is a master of opening the bowling in this format and bowls a hard length which is very tough to get away with. After 39 T20 games, the 36-year old has 50 wickets at an economy rate of 5.61. He will take care of the spin department alongside Sunil Narine.

Kesrick Williams mixes it up very well during the middle overs He stifled Dhoni for runs the other day when Indians fell short in a chase of 190. He will be a key bowler for the home side during the middle overs. In 8 games, Williams has 14 wickets to his name at an economy rate of 5.70. Those numbers certainly give a good reading.

Taylor went for runs against Afghanistan but has the pace to trouble the best. In Holder’s absence, Taylor can bowl fast and short to unruffle Kohli early in his innings. He can go for runs but should be used as a wicket taking option by the West Indies.

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