Fantasy Preview: India vs West Indies, First T20I

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05 Dec 2019 | 12:05 PM
authorAshish Pant

Fantasy Preview: India vs West Indies, First T20I

Here are some tips for selecting your fantasy XI for the first T20 between India and West Indies

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India and West Indies have met each other 14 times across all T20Is. India have the upper hand here having won eight of these encounters. In the last five T20Is, the hosts have been completely dominant winning all five encounters. In India, these two teams have met four times, where the scoreline again reads 3-1 in India’s favour. 

Ground Details and Team Combination

There hasn’t been an international T20 game played at Rajiv Gandhi International stadium, yet. But being Sunrisers Hyderabad’s home ground, a lot of T20 cricket has been staged at this venue in recent times. Statistics suggest that bowlers have enjoyed their time of it at this ground. The average run rate here of 8 is the third-lowest amongst all grounds to have hosted the IPL since 2018. The average runs per wicket too is on the lower side of 24.4 while a wicket falls every 18.4 balls. Going by recent numbers at the stadium, we can expect bowlers to have a slight edge over their batting counterparts. 

The Hyderabad surface has traditionally been on the slower side, a key reason why batsmen haven’t always been able to get the boundaries away on a regular basis. 

On the bowling front, pacers have had a slight edge over the spinners at this venue. In 15 T20 games since the start of 2018, fast bowlers have returned a wicket every 18.7 deliveries as compared to 23.2 by spinners. 

Left-arm pacers have been the most effective breed here, having struck every 17.3 balls while leg-spinners and right-arm pacers are also not too far behind. Sheldon Cottrell is the lone left-arm pacer across the two sides and could be a decent pick in these conditions. Someone like Yuzvendra Chahal and Deepak Chahar might also do a fine job here. 

A combination of five frontline batsman including the wicket-keeper, three pace bowling all-rounders, one spinner and two seamers might be an ideal make of your side.

Captain Selection

An average of 41.88 and a strike rate of 130.3, on a surface where batsmen have not always been able to score freely, Virat Kohli has still held his own. He has 335 runs in nine T20 games at the Hyderabad venue which includes two half-centuries and is coming into this series in excellent form as well. He has been in excellent form in the shortest format of the game too this year averaging a high 56.6 across seven matches. 

X-Factors 

Rohit Sharma has been one of the mainstays of India’s batting at the top of the order and like Kohli is coming into the series in good form. He has also played a lot of cricket at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium as part of the Deccan Chargers side and has a good record too with 539 runs in 19 outings averaging 35.93. His 85 against Bangladesh last week was a work of class and if he can survive the initial opening burst by the bowlers, the West Indians could be in for a serious leather hunt. 

Kieron Pollard has played the most T20 games for any player this year and has been inconsistent form all through both with bat and ball. In 53 outings, Pollard has 1134 runs at an average of 34.36 and a strike-rate of 153. He has also been bowling well and has returned 12 wickets in those games. The Hyderabad surface will also suit his bowling style and his cutters can fetch him some important wickets and you some crucial points. 

Deepak Chahar has been exemplary in the shortest format of the game this year. He recorded the best-ever figures in T20I history against Bangladesh last month and in general, just looks unstoppable. His numbers in 2019 are beyond believable. In six matches this year, he has returned 13 wickets at an average of 7.5 and a strike-rate of 9.4. If he continues his run, West Indies could land into serious trouble pretty early. 

Weather

It is expected to be partly cloudy on Friday, however, chances of rain are pretty minimal. The temperature will hover around the mid-20-degree mark on average through the evening.  

Predicted Fantasy Team:

Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (c), Evin Lewis, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant (wk), Kieron Pollard (vc), Jason Holder, Shivam Dube, Sheldon Cottrell, Yuzvendra Chahal, Deepak Chahal

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