Despite fielding a weak team, West Indies pushed the hosts India to their limits in the recently-concluded ODI series. Though the men from the Caribbean failed in their attempt to clinch the ODI series, they are expected to dominate in their favorite form of cricket – T20.
Both teams will square off in a 3-match series without some of their star players. India has rested few of their players to test their bench strength. However, the same cannot be said with the West Indies.
The long-lasting pay dispute between the players and WIndies board have forced several players to skip national duty. Players like Chris Gayle, Dwayne Bravo, Darren Sammm, Sunil Narine, and Evin Lewis have opted to feature only in cash-rich T20 leagues.
Their rank of no.7 in the ICC T20I team rankings is a shred of evidence of their continuous struggles without the availability of their star players. Now, let us look at a playing XI comprising of all the star players that can defeat any team in the T20I format.
(All stats relevant till before the first T20I against India).
#1 Chris Gayle
The ‘Universal Boss', Chris Gayle, is the only player in the history of T20 cricket to score 10,000+ runs with a staggering tally of 21 100s and 75 50s. His brutal, hard-hitting skills have earned him huge franchise contracts all over the world. Besides, his part-time off-break bowling has fetched him 79 wickets from 128 innings. He almost single-handedly owns all of the T20 batting records. In short, Gayle is the ‘Bradman of T20 cricket’.
Though Gayle wishes to take part in the upcoming 2019 ICC World Cup, he declared himself unavailable for the current limited-over (both ODI & T20I) series against India.
#2 Evin Lewis
Evin Lewis is the new entrant in the list of hard-hitting players from the Caribbean Islands. In his limited career of 17 T20Is, he has already scored two centuries with the strike rate of 157.44.
With the base price of INR 50 lakhs, Lewis was unsold in the 2017 IPL auction. However, Mumbai Indians signed him for a vast sum of INR 3.8 crore in the 2018 auction. Such is the evolution of Lewis in the T20 format in the last one year.
Recently, Lewis had declined a white-ball contract offered by the national team for the 2018-19 season and pulled out of the India tour.