India will square off against West Indies in a three-match T20I series, starting Friday, December 6, in Hyderabad. Mumbai was supposed to host the game but Mumbai Police requested the game to be shifted due to its inability to provide security cover to the venue. Later, Hyderabad was zeroed in as the venue.
Both the teams have had a contrasting last T20I series as West Indies are coming off a 1-2 defeat at the hands of Afghanistan and India beat Bangladesh by 2-1 in November. The hosts have managed to win games but there are areas of concerns in batting as well as the bowling department. So here is the predicted playing XI for India ahead of the first T20I.
The doors have opened for Rahul once again after Shikhar Dhawan got sidelined due to a knee injury. The Karnataka batsman is likely to open the innings with Sharma. This will be a great opportunity for Rahul to cement his place in the T20 team ahead of the T20 World Cup next year in Australia.
The responsibility of the middle overs will be on skipper Kohli. Iyer has been in stunning form recently and he will look to put in a performance to grab the No.4 spot for the World Cup. If Pant fails to perform in this series, he’s most likely to be axed from the squad, which could pave the way for Sanju Samson.
Jadeja has got an opportunity in Krunal Pandya’s absence and the southpaw will look to grab the all-rounder’s spot. He has been in terrific form of late both with the bat and ball. Dubey was impressive against Bangladesh with his bowling but he will have to step up with his batting. Sundar has been tight with his bowling and India would expect him to deliver the goods against the Windies as well. In the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy, he was in brilliant form with the bat as well.
Bhuvneshwar is making a return from a hamstring injury after four months and straight away will lead the Indian bowling attack. Chahar has been in sensational form recently. He bagged a hat-trick against Bangladesh and ended up with best figures for a bowler in T20Is. In the spin department, the onus will be on Yuzvendra Chahal to pick up wickets and stem the run flow.