India vs West Indies: India’s predicted XI for first T20I against West Indies – New faces to take guard

After the heartbreak endured in the World Cup, the Indian team will be back on the field. They will take on the formidable West Indies in a bilateral series and against the defending champions, Virat Kohli and team will have to be at their absolute best. There is also the World T20 which is slated to be held next year and the selectors have drafted in new faces in the squad. This is the opportunity for the young players to step and be counted. Here we take at look at India’s predicted XI for the first T20I clash in Florida.

Rohit Sharma

India’s best batsman at the World Cup, the image of a gutted Rohit Sharma when his team was ousted in the sem-final epitomised the grief in the Indian camp. However, he is the vice-captain of this Indian squad and has to step out and start afresh and this is a good series to get the ball rolling as far as preparations for next year’s World Cup is concerned.

Shikhar Dhawan

The injury to Shikhar Dhawan came as a massive blow to the Indian camp. His presence at the top of the order was missed by the batting order, but now he is back as Rohit’s opening partner in T20Is.

In the IPL this season, Dhawan was prolific as an opener and scored at a fair clip which will be needed to combat the power of West Indies.

KL Rahul

He might not be a regular in the Test and ODI sides, but KL Rahul has been a superb T20 player and his numbers in the IPL have been phenomenal. He should walk in at number 3 and set the platform.

Virat Kohli

The skipper said that he had learnt a lot from setbacks and failures and this series presents him with a great opportunity to kickstart a new phase. He did not have an entirely memorable IPL, but with his pedigree, India would expect the captain to be at his best.

Manish Pandey

After meandering around in Sunrisers Hyderabad’s middle-order, Manish Pandey was bumped up the order to number 3 and was an instant success. He scored consistently and at a rapid pace and this is what the Indian team would want from their middle order.

Rishabh Pant

There is no MS Dhoni in the side and Rishabh Pant has been picked as the primary wicket-keeper. However, his numbers in T20Is has not been impressive at all and hence, this is his chance to not only improve his numbers, but be the finisher and the aggressor in the Indian middle order.

Krunal Pandya

There is no Hardik in the T20 squad and this opens the doors for Krunal. He was impressive in Australia and New Zealand and now has the opportunity to seal this all-rounder’s spot. He has to improve his power game as if this box is ticked, he becomes a priceless player with his bowling and fielding.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Jasprit Bumrah has been rested in the series and Bhuvneshwar Kumar becomes the senior bowler in the side and has to get the job done both with the new ball and then towards the death.

Rahul Chahar

The selectors have roped in Rahul Chahar as the only wrist-spinner in the T20 squad and this is the chance for the young man to show his mettle. He was impressive for Mumbai Indians in the IPL this season. A debut is expected for the young man.

Khaleel Ahmed

He was in India’s scheme of things before injury and bad form ruled him out of contention. However, after a strong performance in the IPL and then for the India ‘A’ side, he is back in reckoning and with the left-arm variation, he can be a good asset for Kohli.

Deepak Chahar

The pace bowler edges out Navdeep Saini primarily because he gets the ball to swing up front and against the belligerent stroke-makers of West Indies, he will be important with the new ball. Also, if the situation does demand, he can also use the long handle to good effect lower down the order.


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