The Windies showcased in the first T20I against India in Hyderabad that they are a batting powerhouse when it comes to the shortest format of the game. With their key players having a vast array of experience in the Indian conditions along with a flat deck, a massive score was on the cards. But not so much superior when the chance to roll their arms came along. They were wiped away relatively less by their share of woes while on the field and more by Virat Kohli’s brilliance while gunning down the score on the board. The reigning T20 champions have a long way to go to figure out their best side for the marquee event that takes place roughly a year from now in Australia.
Meanwhile, the Men in Blues received a big boost ahead of the World Cup looming in the distance by acing a mammoth chase. KL Rahul is stepping up as a worthy backup opening batsman. But what still needs attention are their fielding lapses and which bowling attack is the best to go out with. Deepak Chahar had a rare off day, Washington Sundar hasn’t made so much impact and has proved to be expensive in the last few games. Bhuvneshwar Kumar also lacked the sting but will need time to rediscover his rhythm after recovering from the injury.
Changes expected in the line-up:
Despite an off day at the field, India most likely would not carry out too many changes. The only difference one could foresee is the inclusion of Kuldeep Yadav instead of Washington Sundar. It is indeed inexplicable to see Kuldeep Yadav’s absence in India’s T20 set up. The left-arm bowler last played in the shortest format for the national team back in February against New Zealand. Kuldeep averages a stunning 12.97 in 18 T20Is and forecasting yet another batting wicket; the 24-year old would be crucial in the middle overs.
The batting line-up that helped the Windies put a compelling score in the first match is not expected to see any changes. However, the tourists may bring in another seamer in Keemo Paul for Hayden Walsh to keep the series alive. The leg-break bowler was ineffectual in his two overs and hence could make way for Keemo Paul who has 24 scalps from 18 games. While Virat Kohli entirely took Kesrick Williams under control, he is likely to retain his place in the eleven, given he has picked 38 wickets in 22 T20 games for Windies.
Date and venue: December 8th 2019, Greenfield International Stadium, Thiruvananthapuram
Time: 7:00 pm IST
The pitch at the Greenfields International Stadium would most likely be batting-friendly. The pitch curator Biju stated that it is a deck where lots of runs can be expected. The rain is anticipated; however, even with that, the track will favour the batsmen.
“This is going to be a pitch where lots of runs can be expected. Even with likely rains, the pitch will favour the batsmen,” Biju said as quoted by Business Standard.
The showers may make their presence felt in the venue. Without that, the weather would mostly remain cloudy. However, even with the rains, the track would be conducive to the batsman.
Predicted playing XI:
India: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (c), Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Deepak Chahar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar
West Indies: Lendl Simmons, Evin Lewis, Brandon King, Shimron Hetmyer, Kieron Pollard (c), Jason Holder, Denesh Ramdin (wk) Keemo Paul, Khary Pierre, Sheldon Cottrell, Kesrick Williams
India will most likely emerge victorious and wrap up the series. The Windies have the calibre with the bat. They also have the depth and variety with the ball, but they lack the quality of the top-notch teams to trouble the Indian batsmen at their den.
Head to head:
India won: 9
West Indies won: 5
No Result: 1
Stats that matter:
The Greenfields Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram will host it’s second T20 international on Sunday. The only T20 international played at this venue was in 2017 when India beat New Zealand by six runs in a rain-curtailed clash.
India have won their previous seven T20 games against the Windies. Windies won their last T20 against India back in July 2017 at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica.