India’s T20 machine is purring again. All the talk coming from within the team – from the coach to the captain to the players – is that they haven’t done much different. But it is fairly clear that the early exit from last year’s T20 World Cup has led to some sort of a revolution.
From being a team that totally relied on their big bad top three – to the point that Virat Kohli once straight up lolled at the prospect of ever dropping Rohit Sharma – India are now front-loading their finishers just to shake things up a bit. Rishabh Pant has had a stint as opener in England. Suryakumar Yadav too in the first T20I of this series.
India have also warmed up to the idea of picking super-specialists, with Arshdeep Singh forcing his way into the XI just to bowl his remarkably hard-to-hit yorkers at the death and Dinesh Karthik pretty much nailing his spot as the 12-ball 38 not-out guy. It’s a brave new world out there.
West Indies: LWWLL (Last five matches, most recent first)
Harshal Patel had to make way in Tarouba because conditions demanded three spinners. But now that the T20 caravan has moved to Basseterre, he might find his way back into the XI. The 31-year old seamer has an uncanny knack of bowling exactly the ball that batters don’t want to face in the final overs. And a captain will want an asset like that more often than not.
Brandon King and Romario Shepherd are set to slot back into the XI after missing the first T20I because of US visa appointments. Also, playing just one spinner in Tarouba backfired on West Indies, so they may be tempted to look at bringing in Hayden Walsh Jr on Monday
West Indies: 1 Kyle Mayers, 2 Brandon King, 3 Nicholas Pooran (capt & wk), 4 Jason Holder, 5 Rovman Powell, 6 Shimron Hetmyer, 7 Romario Shepherd, 8 Akeal Hosein, 9 Keemo Paul/Hayden Walsh Jr, 10 Alzarri Joseph, 11 Obed McCoy
India: 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Suryakumar Yadav, 3 Shreyas Iyer, 4 Rishabh Pant (wk), 5 Hardik Pandya, 6 Ravindra Jadeja, 7 Dinesh Karthik, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Ravi Bishnoi/Harshal Patel, 10 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 11 Arshdeep Singh