At Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Wednesday, Rohit Sharma-led India will take on Kieron Pollard’s Windies side in the first game of the three-match T20I series.
Coming into this series, India’s morale will be high after they whitewashed the Men in Maroon in the preceding three-match One-Day International series.
With the T20 World Cup scheduled to take place in Australia later this year, the T20I matches become all the more important for the Men in Blue, and they would like to stamp their authority over the two-time World Champions by winning the series and chalking out important plans for the megaevent.
The West Indies defeated 2019 World Cup winners England 3-2 in the five-match series they played before coming to India and would like to pose a tough challenge for the Indian team.
The shorter format suits them better and they have n number of match-winners in their side.
They will be bolstered by the return of T20 legend and captain Kieron Pollard, who missed the second and third ODIs because of an injury.
For India, they will be without the services of KL Rahul, Axar Patel and Washington Sundar, after the trio was ruled out because of injuries.
In KL Rahul’s absence and Shikhar Dhawan’s not being included in the side, Ishan Kishan is expected to bat at the top with skipper Rohit Sharma, unless the team management gives Ruturaj Gaikwad his international debut.
The Chennai Super Kings opener was the leading run getter in the 2021 IPL as well as in the 2021-22 Vijay Hazare Trophy, where he scored four hundreds while representing Maharashtra.
Former Indian captain Virat Kohli is expected to bat three and will be eager to get some runs under his belt after a disappointing ODI series.
Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer, and Suryakumar Yadav would also be willing to leave a mark.
It will be interesting to see if Kolkata Knight Riders’ all-rounder Venkatesh Iyer finds a place in the eleven.
The Madhya Pradesh player was dropped from the ODI team and, with the rise of Deepak Chahar and Shardul Thakur as handy batters down the order, it would be difficult to adjust him.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar will lead the pace attack and will have Mohammad Siraj for support, who is likely to get the nod ahead of 2021 IPL heroes Harshal Patel and Avesh Khan, who were sold for more than INR 10 crore in the recently held 2022 IPL auctions.
Rohit will have to choose from Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, and the young Ravi Bishnoi, who will be spinning options for him.
As for the Windies, Rovman Powell, Nicholas Pooran, and Jason Holder’s performances will be key.
India: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Surya Kumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Venkatesh Iyer, Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Ravi Bishnoi, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohd Siraj, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Avesh Khan, Harshal Patel, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Deepak Hooda, Kuldeep Yadav.
West Indies: Darren Bravo, Brandon King, Rovman Powell, Kieran Pollard (Captain), Fabian Allen, Kyle Mayers, Jason Holder, Nicholas Pooran, Shai Hope, Sheldon Cottrell, Dominic Drakes, Akeal Hosein, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Hayden Walsh.