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India vs West Indies 2019: Thrills guaranteed as 2 power-packed sides go up against each other

Aryan Surana
ANALYST
Feature
29 Nov 2019, 20:36 IST

India lock horns with the Calypso men in the opening T20I scheduled in Hyderabad next Friday
India lock horns with the Calypso men in the opening T20I scheduled in Hyderabad next Friday

Power is synonymous with West Indian cricketers. The spectacle of marauders like Chris Gayle, Kieron Pollard or Evin Lewis unleashing carnage on the field is a viewer's delight, albeit a bowler's worst nightmare.

Opponents have frequently succumbed to the pyrotechnics of the Caribbean batsmen, haplessly watching the Kookaburra travel incredible distances.

That said, West Indies also occasionally suffer the consequences of relying predominantly on muscular force to score. India's dominant series whitewashes over them earlier this year were a good example of that.

The Men in Maroon now have a golden opportunity to rectify their mistakes and stake their claim as the kings of T20 cricket, as they get set for a three-match series in India.

Following BCCI's decision to change the venue at the 11th hour citing security reasons, India will now lock horns with the Calypso men for the first T20I at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad on 6 December. Keeping in mind the preparations for the upcoming T20 World Cup in Australia, this series will no doubt be extremely crucial for both teams.

Also see - IND vs WI schedule

The revamped Windies squad oozes talent, skill and power. Embellished with prominent names, the powerhouse batting line-up can mercilessly demolish the greatest of attacks.

It's worth noting that glovesman Denesh Ramdin will stage his international comeback in the series, bolstering the formidable lower-order. Meanwhile, Shai Hope's exclusion is a bit baffling considering he just produced a breezy half-century against Afghanistan.

Denesh Ramdin
Denesh Ramdin
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Speed merchants Kesrick Williams and Sheldon Cottrell can trouble any batsman with their remarkable control and disguised variations. Leggie Hayden Walsh's introduction yields variety to the spin department that also includes Fabian Allen and Khary Pierre.

From India's perspective, Virat Kohli returns to the T20I squad and will take the captaincy reins again. Shikhar Dhawan's quest to rediscover his form has been thwarted by an unfortunate knee injury, paving the way for youngster Sanju Samson to be drafted as a replacement.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli

Hence, KL Rahul will presumably shoulder the opening responsibilities alongside veteran Rohit Sharma.

Dhawan's absence would naturally provide a glimmer of hope to Manish Pandey, who's mostly been mostly carrying refreshments in the recent past. The seasoned campaigner has filed timely reminders of his bright potential with quality knocks in the domestic circuit, and could be drafted in at number five.

That said, taking into account Samson's blazing performances in recent times, and the management's willingness to audition newbies before the showpiece event, the Kerala wicketkeeper-batsman could actually feature in the playing XI straightaway.

The question marks over Rishabh Pant's capability and temperament have only intensified in recent times. With repeated failures shattering his confidence, the keeper-batsman is visibly cracking under the pressure.

He has displayed occasional flashes of brilliance, but the clock is ticking for the 22-year old prodigy. Pant needs to channelize his instinctive flamboyance before the selectors run out of patience.

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant

The resurgence of experienced seamers Mohammed Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar consolidates the Indian pace battery while Ravindra Jadeja's inclusion enhances the batting depth.

Alongside Jadeja, the wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal would also be desperately yearning to re-establish themselves into the national framework.

The game next week promises to be a riveting contest. Expect nothing less than fireworks as two dynamic teams collide in a battle for supremacy.

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