India vs West Indies 2019: 3 battles to watch out for
West Indies have announced their squad for the T20I and ODI series to be played in India in December. The big-hitting Kieron Pollard will lead the team in both the T20Is and the ODIs.
Despite his involvement in a ball-tampering scandal, Nicholas Pooran has been named deputy to Pollard in the T20Is, and Shai Hope has been appointed vice-captain in the ODIs. Notably, there was no place for all-rounder Andre Russell in either squad, while veteran wicket-keeper Denesh Ramdin has been named in the T20I squad.
The Windies, who are the defending champions in the ICC T20 World Cup, will play three T20Is and as many ODIs in India. The series will start with the first T20I at Hyderabad on December 6, followed by the second in Thiruvananthapuram on December 8, and conclude with the final one in Mumbai on December 11.
The two teams will then face off in the three ODIs to be played at Chennai (December 15), Visakhaptnam (December 18) and Cuttack (December 22).
As India and West Indies prepare for the face-off, we take a look at three battles to watch out for in the contest.
#1 Rohit Sharma vs Sheldon Cottrell
With Virat Kohli back to leading the T20I squad, opener Rohit Sharma can focus on his big-hitting duties again. After getting his Test career back on track with a wonderful start as opener, Sharma led from the front in the second T20I against Bangladesh with a match-winning knock.
Sharma is unarguably among the most dangerous openers in the limited-overs format. His amazing record in ODIs and T20Is speaks for itself.
Perhaps the only weakness in Sharma’s game is his struggle against left-arm seamers early on. Pakistan’s Mohammad Amir has often trapped Sharma early on, while Trent Boult and Jason Behrendorff too have troubled the Indian opener with the in-coming delivery.
West Indies would be aware of this, and would be hoping for Sheldon Cottrell to do the trick against Sharma.
Cottrell has been among the most consistent West Indies bowlers of late, keeping a check on the batsmen with his pace and accuracy. If he can get past Sharma, we will definitely get to see Cottrell’s signature salute - which might have greater enthusiasm than usual considering the value of Sharma's wicket.