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

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

Although in-form Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni will not feature in the match, stand-in captain Rohit Sharma and his men are still more than capable to steal a result.

The MSK Prasad-led selection committee dropped MS Dhoni from the T20 squad and more than anything else, India would be bereft of his experience.

Winning Super50 Cup Captain, Carlos Brathwaite will turn his attention to the Windies as he heads a 14-man squad for three T20Is against India, starting tomorrow, November 4.

The stats also favour the World T20 holders who have a five-two record from eight exchanges from 2009-17. He would look to carry his fine form from the ODI series, in which he finished behind Kohli, with 389 runs, at a staggering average of 129.66. West Indies are a different beast in the shortest format.

West Indies were hammered in the two-Test series before they lost the five-match series 1-3.

Star West Indies all-rounder Andre Russell was on Saturday ruled out of the three-match T20 series against India, dealing a big blow to the visitors on the eve of the opening game at the Eden Gardens here.

The Indian team has been on a roll at home for quite some time and against a weakened Windies have looked invincible for most parts of the series.

Captaincy seems to bring out the best in Sharma who notched up 317 runs (average 105.66) in five innings in their title-winning campaign at the Asia Cup. They will be a strong opposition without doubt. The Windies, on the other hand, will look forward to their youngster Shimron Hetmeyer, who scored 259 runs in the ODI series, including a century in Guwahati. Pant is expected to fulfil the wicket-keeping responsibilities while Karthik could take on one of the positions in the outfield.

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As for Brathwaite, he will be back at the same venue where he hit four consecutive sixes off Ben Stokes to break the hearts of English fans by winning their second World Twenty20 title in 2016. Krunal Pandya is the only all-rounder in team that has 3 pacers - Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah and Khaleel Ahmed and two spinners in Kuldeep Yadav, and Yuzvendra Chahal.

INDIA - Rohit Sharma (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Bumrah, Khaleel Ahmed, Umesh Yadav, Shahbaz Nadeem.

The Eden centre strip promises to be full of runs, and batsmen from both sides will look to make merry.

The highly-anticipated match will be played on November 4, Sunday, and it will start at 7 pm India time.

Star Sports 1, Star Sports Tamil and Star Sports Hindi will provide live television coverage of the match in India.

"Going out against a strong side like the West Indies and winning would not be an easy task, but we need to play to the best of our abilities and focus on our team strengths to get the job done". On the eve of the match, Krunal had a lengthy batting session at the nets and also bowled his orthodox left-arm spin under the watchful eyes of bowling coach Bharat Arun.

All-rounder Krunal Pandya, who has been consistent in IPL over the years, is in the squad and is likely to make his worldwide debut today if India decide to go in with a third spinner.



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