About the Match
India won the ODI series emphatically in the end and would want to finish with a win in the T20 format as well. This is, however, the favored format of the home team who will be reinforced by the return of some of their traveling superstars for this match. Can the West Indies win this T20 international or will they have a hard time gelling together in such a short time?
A new format for the West Indies comes with a new captain and a lot of new faces. Returning to don the national colors will be Chris Gayle, Sunil Narine, Marlon Samuels, Samuel Badree, Kieron Pollard and Jerome Taylor. Carlos Braithwaite will be leading the side, however, he is also on a slippery slope having lost his place in the other formats of the game and not really performing up to expectations after that brilliant innings in the World T20 finals.
The West Indies actually possess an excellent record against India in the T20 format. The two teams have met each other 7 times of which West Indies has only lost 2. This year, the West Indies lost 3-1 to Pakistan but then recovered to win 3-0 against Afghanistan.
A single one-off match against India does not give either time to really settle into the format. The last three matches between the teams have seen the West Indies win 2 matches while the other one was a no-result.
The onus in this match will be on the West Indies big hitters with Gayle taking center stage. He is easily the best batsman in the history of this format of the game and has been proving it around the world in numerous T20 leagues.
Gayle knows the Indian bowlers well but the Indian bowlers also know him well having bowled to him so many times in the IPL. If he can get past his early jitters, the Gayle show might come to town.
Samuels, Evin Lewis, and Jason Mohammad will all play an important role in this match and try to put together enough runs for their team to defend. With Narine and Badree in the team, chasing against this West Indies team is not going to be easy.
India is a settled team in the shorter formats and this is evidenced by the fact that there is not really much difference in their first choice T20 or ODI squad. We think that Rishabh Pant is all but certain to get a game here but apart from that, most of the same personnel will be on show.
It will be interesting to see if Ashwin and Yuvraj Singh continue to miss out after not being a part of the last two ODI’s. While Ashwin did not play in this year’s IPL, Yuvraj Singh was an integral part of the Sunrisers and played some sparkling cameos.
Ajinkya Rahane should get the nod to open the innings along with Shikhar Dhawan, followed by Virat Kohli at 3. It is these three that have done most of the damage to the West Indies and we expect nothing different this time around.
Kohli is the top ranked batsman in this format of the game and an absolute beast at making runs consistently. His form in the last match should be carried over here as well.
With Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Shami/Umesh Yadav, Jadeja/ Ashwin, in the team, the Indian bowling is very well balanced. They have some gun bowlers at the death, mystery spinners and some genuine pace to call up when needed.
This is a cohesive unit well drilled in the art of T20 cricket and would be difficult to stop for the West Indies team whose players can often lack for motivation while representing the Caribbean.
Pitch and Conditions
A pitch that is excellent for batting is expected to be provided for this T20. Some amount of grass should be visible on the surface, however, nothing too alarming for the batsmen. The bowlers should also be able to get some reasonable bounce from Sabina Park.
The current forecast for the weather is all good news for tomorrow, however, the usual caveat of rain always around holding true.
India to Win