Published: Sun, November 04, 2018
Sports | By Sarah Myers

India vs West Indies, 1st T20I

India vs West Indies, 1st T20I

A weakened but still risky West Indies will clash with powerhouses India in the opening Twenty20 worldwide here Sunday, hoping to spring a surprise and also halt their decline in what has become their most successful format.

With regular skipper Virat Kohli and ex-skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni missing the series and West Indies squad boosted by the inclusion of T20 specialists like Kieron Pollard, Evin Lewis, Darren Bravo and skipper Carlos Brathwaite, it promises to be a keen contest.

The visitors have beaten India in five of their seven meetings in T20Is - a comforting stat that should give the new-look West Indies a lot of confidence. The seasoned Mumbai batsman was the second highest scorer behind Kohli, scoring 389 runs at 129.66, that included two hundreds.

In 2018, Dhoni, who has also captained India to 50-over World Cup glory in 2011, managed only 245 runs at 27.22 in 17 matches.

West Indies have endured a hard tour, losing both Tests inside three days and then going down 3-1 in the subsequent one-day series.

India take on the West Indies in the first of a three-match T20I series at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday, November 4.

Kohli's absence would mean KL Rahul will come into the picture while Dinesh Karthik and Rishabh Pant are expected to add firepower in the middle order alongside Krunal Pandya.

Captain Brathwaite, who famously clubbed four consecutive sixes off Ben Stokes to win the World Cup here two years ago, will also be counted on as a match victor for the side missing the services of talisman Chris Gayle who declined selection. India's last win against the Windies came way back on March 23, 2014 in the World T20 in Bangladesh.

The Indian seam attack will be led by Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah, which now includes additional variation in the form of left-arm quick Khaleel Ahmed.

As per the latest ICC rankings, India, however, are way ahead of the Windies.

Match starts 7 pm. IST. The two sides will lock horns at Eden Gardens. Krunal Pandya is the only all-rounder in team that has 3 pacers - Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Khaleel Ahmed and two spinners in Kuldeep Yadav, and Yuzvendra Chahal.

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