Having won the five-match ODI series fair and square, the men in blue will now be looking to leave the Caribbean shores with another victory, in the one-off T20I at Jamaica. The last time these teams clashed in a T20I, more than 480 runs were scored in 40 overs as India just fell short by a run in Florida, with batsman KL Rahul notching up an outstanding century.
The game will allow India to test its bench strength and give the limited overs specialists like Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni, one final opportunity before the ODI series commences against Sri Lanka in late August.
Below, we have a look at the predicted Indian XI for the one off T20I.
- Ajinkya Rahane:
Having been dropped from the three-match T20I squad against England earlier this year, Rahane will be upbeat going into this game. Already the man of the series in the ODI’s, the right-hander will look to do well in the shortest format of the game, a format which has witnessed his masterclass in the IPL on several occasions.
- Shikhar Dhawan:
Like Rahane, Dhawan too was axed from India’s T20I team for the assignment against England at home. With India not playing too many T20I’s, this can be a golden opportunity for Dhawan to leave an impression in this particular format. His stats are quite poor in T20I’s, and he would look to work on those numbers.
- Virat Kohli (c):
Kohli earlier this year opened in all three T20I’s for India but failed to get going in all games. Back at his favourite position of number 3 and given his outstanding form off late, one can expect this batting machine to continue his swansong. Not to forget, Kohli averages 53 in T20I’s, a point that will give the Windies bowlers several headaches.
- MS Dhoni (wk):
In the very last T20I for India, Dhoni registered his maiden fifty in the format at Bangalore against England. He has at his best when batting higher up the order and should ideally bat at 4, if not above. If set, the veteran can simply explode in the last few overs and decimate the bowlers at the death.
- Rishab Pant:
With the extent of Yuvraj Singh’s hamstring injury still unknown, it can be assumed that he will be replaced by Rishab Pant in the one-off game. Though Dinesh Karthik did well in the fifth ODI, Pant should get a game ahead of him, given how he has not played on the tour so far. Watching him bat will surely be an exciting aspect.
- Kedar Jadhav:
Given his rich vein of form in ODI’s, one can say that Kedar Jadhav hasn’t been given too many opportunities in T20I’s. The last time Jadhav played a T20I for India, he saved the team from some severe embarrassment as his match winning half century saved the day and series against Zimbabwe at Harare. He should be the finisher in this team.
- Hardik Pandya:
Pandya was in some serious nick during the IPL as he tonked the ball a fair way for the Mumbai Indians. Ideally the finisher of this side, Pandya will enjoy playing the shortest format in the Caribbean and holds the aces for India. With the ball as well, bowling against some ferocious beasts of this format will be an ideal test of his character.
- R. Ashwin:
Given how dismal Ravindra Jadeja has been in T20I’s, Ashwin deserves a recall into the T20I team. Having missed the series against England, Ashwin will be the key for India with the ball. This has been a format that has traditionally suited Ashwin and a format which has been mastered by him. Expect the tall offie to walk back into the playing XI.
- Kuldeep Yadav:
Considering how lethal he was in the ODI series, Kuldeep Yadav is in contention to make his T20I debut tomorrow. Having a wrist spinner in this format is priceless as taking wickets is the biggest to success. Kuldeep can do just that with his cunning wrist spin and his four overs will be vital for India.
- Bhuvneshwar Kumar:
Having missed the last couple of ODI’s, India should rope in Bhuvneshwar Kumar for the one-off game. Kumar has been an outstanding T20 bowler for quite a while now, has emerged as the leading wicket-taker in the last two editions of the IPL. Apart from being fantastic with the new ball, Kumar is impeccable at the death, hitting the blockhole frequently.
- Mohammad Shami:
Both Shami and Umesh Yadav rarely play T20I’s for India and in absence of the specialist Jasprit Bumrah, Shami should get the nod. The pacer got back in the groove with a four-wicket haul in the final ODI of the series, and would look to do the same in the T20I as well.