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Will return of West Indies’ T20 specialists surprise Virat Kohli-less India?

04 November, 2018, 12:15 | Author: Candice Daniels
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India XII: Rohit Sharma (c), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Dinesh Karthik, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wk), Krunal Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, K Khaleel Ahmed.

Rohit said on Saturday that Dhoni's experience will be missed but it is widely believed that the 37-year-old former India captain in now slowly being phased out. He goes on to add that India will miss the services of Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni, but despite that the hosts can not be taken lightly.

Rohit Sharma will captain India in the first T20I against Windies on Sunday after BCCI announced the starting 12 for the game in Kolkata. However, India will be wary of the threat that West Indies poses in the shorter format of the game since they are the reigning T20I champions.

The hosts would want skipper Rohit to lead from the front and continue his purple patch with the bat.

Besides, Eden is also a happy hunting ground for Rohit.

The three matches will also give another opportunity to young pacer Khaleel Ahmed who drew a lot of praise from skipper Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri during the ODIs.

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"Any team has a better chance if they don't play".

Hetmyer, 21, is also in superb form scoring 259 runs in the ODI series including the counter-attacking 106 in Guwahati.

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. Andre Russell, too, didn't turn up in Kolkata despite being in the squad. Recently, Ashley Nurse was also ruled out of the T20Is as a result of a shoulder injury he sustained during the fourth ODI against India in Mumbai.

"India at home in any format are very formidable, especially with the advent of IPL and the amount of T20 cricket that the Indian superstars play - they definitely start as favourites", he pointed out. From West Indies' perspective too, the next World T20 is two years away, so it's debatable how much they will gain from this series apart from the fact that their young players will have some valuable worldwide experience. In the following five-match ODI series, they posed some challenge before being thrashed 1-3 with a nine-wicket loss in Thiruvananthapuram in the final one-dayer.

A vital cog in Windies' wheel, Russell also plies his trade for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and was a key member of the team that won the title in 2014.

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