India Heavy Favourites Against West Indies
India whitewashed the West Indies in the West Indies in both the T20I series and the ODI series. It is now the West Indies who are touring India. They will play yet another T20I series and an ODI series to see if they can beat India at home. But will they be able to end 2019 on a positive note?
Sportsbooks Give India The Favorite Tag
The first T20I will take place on December 6 in Hyderabad and it is not surprising to see that the sportsbooks have given India odds of 7/17 and the West Indies have odds of 2/1. The way India steamrolled the West Indies in the last series along with the way the men in blue have been playing is enough proof that they have the momentum on their side.
India have decided to play at full strength as the selectors have brought back captain Virat Kohli who was rested in the T20I series against Bangladesh. India will be playing a very experienced side as the likes of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami are expected to play.
The West Indies have struggled against spin in the sub-continent and India are going in with three spinners. Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have been the two go to spinners that India have used in T20 cricket but this time around they also have Ravindra Jadeja’s services available. Jadeja has shown in recent months that he can play as an all-rounder as his batting has improved tremendously.
While the side is packed with experienced, Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri will also use this series to try some of the younger players to see if they are good enough to book themselves a place amongst the 15 that will make the trip to Australia in 2020 to play the T20 World Cup.
Shreyas Iyer should get the nod ahead of Manish Pandey to bat at number 4 or 5 while Rishabh Pant will once again take the gloves in the absence of MS Dhoni. Shivam Dube and Washington Sundar will be lucky if they get a game during the three match T20I series.
Can Kieron Pollard Change West Indies Fortunes?
West Indies can be dangerous on their day but they are not known for being good starters in the sub-continent. However, it will be silly to rule them out. They have a number of players who have extensive IPL experience and know what it takes to perform.
Kieron Pollard has been given the responsibility to captain the West Indies in both the T20I and ODI series. Pollard has shown in the IPL that he tends to up his game and delivers, when entrusted with a responsibility.
He knows that he will have to lead from the front and set an example for his team to follow. The selectors have put together a rather strong squad for the T20I series. The likes of Chris Gayle, Andre Russell and Sunil Narine are missing, however.
Big hitters Shimron Hetmyer and Nicholas Pooran, who failed against India in the recent T20I series, get another opportunity. The Windies will also have the experienced Denesh Ramdin and Fabian Allen, who were injured, back in the team.
The West Indies will also introduce a couple of new faces in Hayden Walsh Jr. and Brandon King. The pair bring an x factor to the team. If the visitors can surprise India and win the first game, it could swing the momentum their way.