Chris Gayle is back for West Indies, and the dangerous left-hander will be keen to make an impact in the one-off T20 against India at Sabina Park on Sunday, July 9.
India have a settled side for the T20, but they need to find a place for Rishabh Pant in the starting XI as the youngster has been a mere passenger in West Indies. It may be mentioned here that India had lost to the Caribbeans, who eventually went on to lift the title, in the semifinal of the World Twenty20 in Mumbai last year despite putting a score in excess of 190.
With Pant expected to play, it will be interesting to see which player will have to sit out and make room for the left-hander. India captain Virat Kohli has a tough call to make, he might look to drop either Yuvraj Singh or Ajinkya Rahane.
If Pant features for India, Kohli might have to open the innings as Pant can play as a middle order batsman as well. They might even ask Pant to open the innings.
Shikhar Dhawan, MS Dhoni and Kedar Jadhav should be obvious choices in the T20 team. In the bowling department, it is going to be tricky. After an astounding bowling performance from leggie Kuldeep Yadav, he is sure to feature on Sunday, but only one of the R Ashwin or Ravindra Jadeja will get to feature in the playing XI.
Coming to the pacers', among the three, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav, two could play. And with Umesh in good rhythm, he is confirmed of a place in the playing XI while Bhuvneshwar, with his brilliant T20 skills, could help him get selected ahead of Shami.
West Indies have a solid T20 side this time around, and with the likes of Gayle, Kieron Pollard, Marlon Samuels and Sunil Narine, they have the much-needed experience. All these players will be raring to go, and have some things to prove in the one-off T20 as well.
It is not only going to be about these players. West Indies have some wonderful players in their ranks with the likes of Evin Lewis and Chadwick Walton, who will be keen to shine at Sabina Park.
Confirmed Playing XI
India: Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Rishabj Pant, Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar
West Indies: Evin Lewis, Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, Kieron Pollard, Chadwick Walton (w), Rovman Powell, Carlos Brathwaite (c), Sunil Narine, Jerome Taylor, Samuel Bardee, Kesrick Williams