India will take on the West Indies in a three-match T20 series. This is expected to be a closely contested series as the Calypso Kings are one of the best T20 sides in the world. This will also be the first official T20 series that Rohit Sharma captains since Virat Kohli stepped down.
The first T20 will take place on 16 Feb, the second T20 on 18 Feb, and the third and final T20 on 20 Feb. All three games will occur at Eden Gardens, Kolkata, and they will be day-night games. The BCCI has preferred to limit the amount of travel for this series in light of the omicron variant of COVID-19.
India – Good Batting, Weak Bowling
The selectors have put together a pretty good squad for this T20 series. Our experts went through the line-up and determined that the batting is definitely a lot stronger than the bowling department. The bowling is not as strong as it could be because the selectors decided to give J Bumrah a rest, while H Pandya and R Jadeja are still recovering from injuries.
R Sharma and vice-captain KL Rahul will open the batting, S Yadav could come in at 3 and Kohli at 4. The 5th spot is a toss-up between S Iyer and I Kishan, while the number 6 position will go to R Pant. V Iyer or W Sundar are likely to battle for the number 7 position. Number 8 should go to A Patel, 9 to B Kumar, 10 to D Chahar and 11 to either Y Chahal or S Thakur.
Platform For T20 World Cup
The ICC T20 World Cup is set to occur in October and November 2022. This will be an important series for many Indian players as the selectors are going to keep a close watch on their performance to decide who will be in the reckoning to play the T20 World Cup.
KL Rahul is the vice-captain, but if he plays poorly, it will open the door for S Dhawan to return or I Kishan to move up the order. V Kohli hasn’t been in great form for the last two years, and the selectors will want to see if he can regain his form now that he no longer has the burden of the captaincy.
S Yadav and S Iyer have also yet to cement their spot in the T20 squad, and this is a great series for both players to establish their authority and show the selectors that they are the future of the Indian T20 squad. With no H Pandya on the side, the debate for a backup all-rounder is still in the air.
W Sundar is a good choice, and S Thakur needs to do more with the bat to be a proper replacement for H Pandya. In the bowling department, B Kumar needs to perform and lead from the front without J Bumrah.
The selectors have already dropped B Kumar from their ODI plans, and if he does not perform well against the West Indies, he might struggle to make the T20 World Cup squad even with all his experience.
This is also going to be an interesting series for the Indian spinners. Y Chahal is the senior spinner on the side, but his form in T20 games has been very inconsistent. A Patel gets the nod when R Jadeja is injured, and it will be up to him to perform well and push for the number one T20 spinner spot. We don’t expect some of the other spinners in the squad to get a chance to play in this T20 series.
India Could Be Weakened Due To Positive Cases
India’s three-match ODI series against the West Indies has already taken a blow as many players and support staff have tested positive. S Iyer, S Dhawan, N Saini and R Gaikwad tested positive a few days before the ODI series could start.
If any of the T20 squad test positive in the lead-up to the T20 series, it will be a big blow for India as it will significantly weaken their squad since many of their top players are already injured or taking a break.
Kieron Pollard will lead the West Indies and will receive support from his deputy N Pooran. The West Indies are playing several new faces as they will also be looking to identify their list of players for the T20 World Cup.