India Vs West Indies | Virat Kohli may open innings alongside Shikhar Dhawan

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India Vs West Indies | Virat Kohli may open innings alongside Shikhar Dhawan

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SportsCafe Desk

07/08/2017

Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan could be the opening pair for India in the lone T20 against West Indies in Jamaica tomorrow, owing to the change in format. India start the match as favourites despite the return of Chris Gayle, who will be playing his first game for the Windies in 15 months.

Having comprehensively clinched the ODI series against the Windies 3-1, India’s focus now shifts to the lone T20 against the hosts. However, the change in format might call for change in India’s batting line-up as well. Given that Ajinkya Rahane’s natural game is not suited to the shortest format, he might make way for Kohli at the top of the order, despite being the top scorer in the ODI series.

Though the Indian skipper has only opened the innings for his national side on a handful of occasions, he has done so with great success for his IPL side, Royal Challengers Bangalore.

The other change in the Indian side may see Rishabh Pant finally get some playing time in the last game of the tour, as the Indian team management continue to groom him as MS Dhoni’s successor. In the bowling department, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, after some well-earned rest, will return to lead the pace attack alongside Umesh Yadav. Meanwhile, Kuldeep Yadav may feature once again, after an impressive ODI series in which he picked up eight wickets.

As far as the hosts are concerned, the biggest highlight is the return of Chris Gayle, who is set to wear his national colours for the first time in over a year. Though the left-hander has been struggling for form ever since the IPL which was his last competitive tournament, he still remains a danger man for the World T20 Champions.

Despite losing the ODI series tamely, the West Indies head into the lone T20 with a chance of winning it as their squad boasts the likes of Marlon Samuels, Carlos Brathwaite, Kieron Pollard, and Evan Lewis among others. In the bowling line up, the onus will be on their spin twins Sunil Narine and Samuel Badree to trouble the Indian batsmen with their variations. Narine may also open the innings, something which he successfully did for KKR in the IPL.

Squads

India: Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Yuvraj Singh, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Dinesh Karthik, Mohammed Shami. 

West Indies: Carlos Brathwaite (capt), Samuel Badree, Ronsford Beaton, Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Rovman Powell, Marlon Samuels, Jerome Taylor, Chadwick Walton (wk), Kesrick Williams.

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