West Indies vs India 2019: 1st T20I, Match Preview
Post a disappointing exit from the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 courtesy of a loss in the semi-finals, India will be keen on preparing for the next ICC event, the T20 World Cup set to take place in October next year as they square off against the West Indies for the 1st T20I beginning today at Florida.
India have got a strong mix of experience and youth for the three-match T20I series. They have the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and skipper Virat Kohli which makes their batting unit look extremely potent and threatening.
With the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami rested from this series, the bowling attack will be led by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who will have the likes of Deepak Chahar, Khaleel Ahmed and Navdeep Saini for company in the pace department.
Ravindra Jadeja and Krunal Pandya offer their all-round skills while Washington Sundar can be expected to feature in this game courtesy of his economical spin bowling and handy batting skill.
West Indies, on the other hand, would want to put behind a horrendous ICC World Cup 2019 campaign and start afresh in a format where they are the current champions. They have the perfect balance of exciting talent and experienced players.
"The team is young, and we like to mix the experienced players with the youth. We have a very good blend. We are looking forward to the matches here in Florida. It should be a very exciting weekend, lots of entertainment for the fans," said West Indies coach Floyd Reifer, in anticipation of a cracker of a contest.
The big news from a West Indies team perspective is the inclusion of Kieron Pollard and Sunil Narine into the team for the T20I series. However, they have also been dealt a massive blow as Andre Russell has been ruled out of the series owing to a long-standing injury.
Overall, it promises to be an exciting series. This is the one format where this current Indian team are not ranked in the top three spots. With the ICC World T20 coming up, they have set their eyes on glory by grooming youngsters.
West Indies have the talent in their team to upstage India and with the return of some senior players, they will certainly have a lot of confidence in their ranks. India, on the other hand, lack some experience on the bowling front as apart from Bhuvneshwar Kumar and probably Ravindra Jadeja, the rest of the bowlers have not played too much at the senior level.
The clear lack of experience could be exploited as Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmeyer, Nicholas Pooran and Kieron Pollard don't require a second invitation to tear apart opposition teams and will be the prime players in focus.
When : 1st T20I on August 3rd at 8 PM IST
Where: Central Broward Regional Park Stadium Turf Ground, Lauderhill, Florida
What to expect: With a high possibility of rains playing spoilsport, both captains would want to win the toss and field first. It's imperative on such grounds to bat out the opposition as it will be very hard to defend runs with the extremely short boundaries coming into play.