Afghanistan v West Indies 1st T20I: Schedule, match prediction, pitch report and predicted playing XIs
On the back of registering a 3-0 ODI series whitewash against Afghanistan, West Indies will be looking to continue their fine run in the three-match T20I series as the two-time World T20 champions will face off against the hosts in the opening T20I at the Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow.
Afghanistan captain Rashid Khan will be looking to make a big mark in a format where he has enjoyed most success, but he will have a big task at hand in order to plot the downfall of the West Indies unit, with the former having beaten the latter last in 2016.
While West Indies will be without the services of dashing wicket-keeper batsman Nicholas Pooran, who has been banned for four matches owing to an incident that saw him 'changing the conditions of the ball' in the third ODI, the Kieron Pollard-led side boasts of some exciting youngsters such as Brandon King, Hayden Walsh among others who will be key to make an impact.
However, Afghanistan will take heart from the fact that they are yet to lose a T20I series since their loss to the West Indies in an away series back in 2017, and will be keen to maintain their momentum as they look to prepare for next year's World T20.
First T20I Schedule
Date: 14th November 2019
Time: Match begins at 7 PM IST.
Venue: Ekana Cricket Stadium, Lucknow
Also see – World Test Championship points table
Pitch and weather report
The strip at the Ekana Stadium could prove to produce ideal conditions for batsmen to flourish, while the cool conditions and slight breeze could favour the bowlers as well. With no rain expected, an equitable battle between bat and ball is expected.
In terms of head to head records, West Indies have the upper hand with three wins from four matches contested between these two sides. Yet, not to forget, West Indies have lost six T20Is in a row this year, three each against England and India.
However, West Indies are never a team to be taken lightly in the shortest format of the game as they have some serious firepower in their squad and a unique mix of youth and experience among their ranks.
With many fresh faces coming into the West Indies side for this series, the youngsters will want to make an impression and cement their place in the side for the World T20 next year.
West Indies could be expected to win this game.
Afghanistan: Rahmanullah Gurbaz (wk), Hazratullah Zazai, Ibrahim Zadran, Asghar Afghan, Najibullah Zadran, Mohammad Nabi, Karim Janat, Rashid Khan (c), Mujeeb Ur Rahman, Naveen-ul-Haq, Sayed Shirzad.
West Indies: Evin Lewis, Brandon King, Shimron Hetmyer, Kieron Pollard (c), Denesh Ramdin (wk), Sherfane Rutherford, Fabian Allen, Jason Holder, Hayden Walsh, Kesrick Williams, Sheldon Cottrell.