India vs West Indies, 1st T20 Match Prediction2019-12-07
Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Uppal, Hyderabad
Man of the Match: Virat Kohli
Hosts India ready to take on unpredictable West Indies!
India will win the match!
T&Cs apply, 18+
Team India hasn't had the best of times in T20Is of late - they were beaten by South Africa and Bangladesh at home in one T20I each recently. However, that has been more because India hasn't fielded their full-strength squads in T20Is of late and have been experimenting with the players a lot. But in the upcoming 3-match series against the West Indies, India will be having an almost full-strength squad where skipper Virat Kohli will be back at the helm.
Barring Jasprit Bumrah, Shikhar Dhawan and Hardik Pandya, who are recuperating from injuries, India will have almost all their regular members back. Playing at home, a robust India will begin as favorites for the first match of this series. West Indies are an unpredictable side. They are the most comfortable in this format. However, they have had a horrible form in T20Is this year and have lost a whopping 8 of the 9 matches they have played in 2019 in the format; two of those were against Afghanistan. Hence, West Indies will have their odds stacked against a powerful India at home in this match.
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With Virat Kohli back at the helm, India will feel much better. In Virat and Rohit Sharma, India have two of the best-limited overs batsmen at the top. The injury to regular opener Shikhar Dhawan means that KL Rahul, who struck a fluent fifty in India's last T20I against Bangladesh, would be opening along with Rohit.
The talented Shreyas Iyer, who has been in terrific touch, will be holding the middle-order together. Rishabh Pant had a horrific series against Bangladesh. But the young wicket-keeper batsman has plenty of talent and would be eagerly watched out for. The Indian lower middle-order hasn't performed in recent times and it will be interesting to see how the likes of Manish Pandey and Ravindra Jadeja react. India's bowling looks much better now with the return of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja.
These three along with the impressive seamer Deepak Chahar and leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal would form a potent bowling lineup. Chahar is fresh from a record-breaking spell of 6-7 against Bangladesh and it would be fascinating to see how he bowls along with Shami and Bhuvaneshwar.
Virat Kohli, YS Chahal, Shreyas Iyer, Lokesh Rahul, Deepak Chahar, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Rishabh Pant, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Washington Sundar, Shivam Dube
The West Indies, led by Kieron Pollard, have an exciting T20I side like always. However, they are extremely inconsistent and were recently beaten 2-1 by Afghanistan. Pollard will have to take the bulk of the responsibility in batting and the experience of playing in India for so many years in the IPL will certainly help. The likes of Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Nicholas Pooran, Lendl Simmons, and Sherfane Rutherford provide great variety to West Indies' batting. Each of them has the potential to turn the game on its head.
All-rounder Kesrick Williams, who impressed in this year's ODI World Cup in England, has returned to the squad and will an exciting prospect lower down the order. Evin Lewis has been in great form and is expected to do well at the top. Pooran, however, should be the batsman to watch out for in this match and the series as he should do well on Indian pitches. In the bowling department, West Indies has good options in Sheldon Cottrell, Jason Holder and Kesrick Williams. Cottrell and Holder will likely be taking the bulk of the responsibility.
Captain Pollard too would be contributing with his medium-pace. However, if the pitch doesn't assist the bowlers much then the lack of experience of this unit on Indian surfaces might prove fatal.
Kieron Pollard, Shimron Hetmyer, Brandon King, Denesh Ramdin, Khary Pierre, Hayden Walsh, Sheldon Cottrell, Jason Holder, Kesrick Williams, LMP Simmons, Evin Lewis
The pitch at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium, Hyderabad, is known to be good for batting throughout. Although this pitch will also help the spin bowlers in the middle-overs as the surface becomes slower. A score of 180-190 might be a match-winning one on this pitch. The weather in Hyderabad has been clear and cool and will be pleasant on the match day as well.
There has not been a T20I match played at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad yet. The only one that was scheduled - between India and Australia in October 2017 - was washed out due to rain. Hopefully, we will have the maiden T20I game on the venue which will be great for the city.
The team winning the toss is likely to bat first. Dew might be a major factor in India in the 2nd innings and hence the team winning the toss would like to restrict the opposition and chase down the total.
In the last 5 T20Is between India and the West Indies, all 5 have been won by India. In fact, when India toured the West Indies earlier this year for a 3-match T20I series, they completed a comprehensive 3-0 whitewash of the home team. Moreover, as was mentioned earlier, West Indies are struggling in T20Is this year and have lost 8 of the 9 games they have played in the format.
Hence, Team India will begin as overwhelming favorites for this first match and the series. The only thing that might work for the West Indies is that they have been playing international cricket in India for a few weeks now because of the series against Afghanistan. However, that is unlikely to be enough as a near full-strength Indian side which has all bases covered and is playing at home should be backed as the winners of this contest.
India will win the match!
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