India's Predicted XI for the first T20 against Windies

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BCCI

India vs Windies | India’s predicted XI for first T20I in Kolkata

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Bastab K Parida

11/04/2018

The only team to have gotten the better of India in any T20 series since 2016, Windies, have some sort of upper hand against the home team. However, all that won't count for much as this is the first bilateral T20 series between the two teams in India and Windies have a terrible record in Asia.

Openers

Rohit Sharma (C) : After a superb ODI series with the bat, the onus is on Rohit Sharma to lead the side with elan and simultaneously, let his bat do the talking too. He is a tactical captain and believes in the match-ups - a trait that will come to the fore today as he will lead the side in the absence of Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni.

Shikhar Dhawan : His T20 career might have been underwhelming as compared to his ODI career, but Dhawan has been in excellent form in the shortest version of the game in 2018. The southpaw has scored 434 runs from 12 matches with four half-centuries to his name. If somehow, Dhawan fires, the story for the Windies will end there.

Middle-order

Rishabh Pant (wk) : Not KL Rahul. Not Shreyas Iyer. India are going to use Rishabh Pant at the crucial No.3 slot. Given the big-hitting prowess the Indian openers have, Pant’s inclusion will be an extra reminder of India’s strength. The wicket-keeper, who for the first time will keep for India in a limited-overs match, will vouch for some good runs.

Manish Pandey : A stunning paradox since 2009. Manish Pandey is such an entity in Indian cricket that very few can explain. He is the ultimate fielder in the deep, but his temperament at the highest level has been questioned time and again. Given the management is trusting him now, he should have a clear cut plan ahead of him.

Dinesh Karthik : After India put Pant’s name as the designated keeper, it is all but sure that Dinesh Karthik will play as a specialist batsman. He warmed up for this series with a 99 against India B in Deodhar Trophy and the Windies series provides him an opportunity to stake his claim.

All-rounder

Krunal Pandya : It will be a huge moment for the elder Pandya when he will don the India cap as an all-rounder. Given the Eden track is pacer-friendly lately, India may play him ahead of a wrist-spinner. In the IPL, he has been one of the most consistent allrounders going around and his dynamism will keep him in good stead.

Spinners

Kuldeep Yadav : It is a venue that has been a sweet memory for the youngster. From establishing himself in the IPL to picking up an ODI hat-trick at the venue, Kuldeep has ruled Eden. He knows the wicket better than anyone else in this team which will come in handy for him, especially in the absence of MS Dhoni to guide from behind the stumps.

Pacers

Bhuvneshwar Kumar : The pacer might have been rendered ineffective in the ODI cricket lately, but he is a terrific bowler in the T20 format thanks to his intelligent use of variations and slower balls. He has done that many a time for Sunrisers Hyderabad and needs to bring that up again to strangle the Windies batsmen.

Jasprit Bumrah : The best limited-overs bowler in the world at the moment and this is some statement. Bumrah’s arrival and rise has been a welcome sight for India’s limited-overs plans post Zaheer Khan era. If Bumrah fires from the onset, Windies’ lofty T20 reputations won’t matter at all.

Khaleel Ahmed : The left-arm pacer has the ability to move the ball both ways and Windies batsmen suffered the wrath in the ODI series. But most importantly Khaleel has that awkward angle from round the wicket that makes the batsmen worried about the release point. In T20, it will be more important for him as the four-over spell doesn’t allow the batsmen to read too much.

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