WI vs IND 2019, 1st T20I: Predicted XIs, injury updates and match preview
India have never got the better of West Indies in a bilateral T20I series in the latter's own den, and so the upcoming series presents a perfect opportunity for the Indian team to create history.
The Indian squad boasts of some top-class quality and a unique mix of youngsters. Led by Virat Kohli, the team will see the return of Shikhar Dhawan, who will partner Rohit Sharma at the top.
Manish Pandey and Shreyas Iyer will be two big names in the battle for the middle order slots while Krunal Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja will jostle for the all-rounder's spot. The pace battery also wears a young and exciting look.
India's predicted XI
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (C), Lokesh Rahul, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (WK), Krunal Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, K Khaleel Ahmed
It is a no-brainer that India are going to opt for the strongest possible combination. With Rishabh Pant as the only wicket-keeper in the squad, he makes up for one of the four middle-order spots, the other being filled by Virat Kohli. Shikhar Dhawan returns from the injury he sustained against Australia at the recently concluded World Cup.
The batting order could see a revamp, with KL Rahul set to take up either the No.3 or No.4 spot. The other spot could be occupied by either Shreyas Iyer or Manish Pandey, both of whom enjoyed a successful series against West Indies A.
The stocks of Ravindra Jadeja have risen yet again, and he will in most probability play ahead of Tamil Nadu southpaw Washington Sundar. Krunal Pandya is a guaranteed starter in the T20 setup with his hard-hitting skill and economical bowling.
In the pace department, Bhuvneshwar Kumar will be expected to spearhead the attack, and Deepak Chahar and Khaleel Ahmed will be his understudies. Uncapped Navdeep Saini will likely have to wait to make his debut.
West Indies' Predicted XI
Evin Lewis, John Campbell, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran (WK), Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell, Carlos Brathwaite (C), Keemo Paul / Khary Pierre, Sunil Narine, Oshane Thomas, Sheldon Cottrell.
The return of veterans Kieron Pollard and Sunil Narine all but confirms their inclusion in the XI for the 1st T20I. In spite of a disappointing World Cup, Evin Lewis has an incredible T20I record, so his selection shouldn't raise any eyebrows. Carlos Braithwaite will lead the side and along with Andre Russell, they will form the spine of the team.
Nicholas Pooran, who had a promising debut IPL season followed with an excellent showing at the World Cup, and Shimron Hetmyer, who has emerged as an exciting young prospect, are expected to be the key to West Indies' middle-order woes.
John Campbell has impressed in recent months and should be picked up ahead of Rovman Powell. Oshane Thomas and Sheldon Cottrell will lead the bowling attack, with either of Keemo Paul or Khary Pierre, the only other decent spin bowling option apart from Sunil Narine completing the line-up.
None of the players from either team have suffered an injury. Hence, both units are at full strength and players are totally fit to feature in the 1st T20I.
Venue: Central Broward Regional Park Turf Stadium, Lauderhill, Florida (United States)
The venue has hosted eight T20I internationals till date, with six of them having won by the side that chose to bat first. Considering the previous fixtures that the ground has hosted, the side that wins the toss will elect to bat first.
The average 1st innings score at this venue is 166 and the average 2nd innings score is 125. The pitch is generally conducive to batting, as witnessed during a T20I between India and West Indies in 2016, when West Indies smashed 245 runs courtesy an Evin Lewis century. India narrowly lost, posting 244 in reply, and falling agonizingly short by just a solitary run.
India and West Indies have faced each other a total of 11 times, with each side winning five encounters apiece, and one game being washed out by rain (2nd T20I in 2016 at the same venue).
20:00 IST, 10:30 EDT (local), 14:30 UTC