India and West Indies series start with the only T20 match of the series that has 5 ODIs and 3 Tests to be followed afterwards. Not surprisingly there are no tour practice matches. Yet, can India finally win a T20 against West Indies!
If Rain decides to desert Port of Spain on 4th June till the match completes, the battle for winner in the tour opener would be interesting. Raina, already been unsuccessful as a captain in one series, is at the helm in the absence of seniors. Bhai will be his deputy for T20 and ODIs, till the orginal captain Dhoni completes his desired rest period.
Players who played both matches:
WI: Gayle, Bravo, Chanderpaul, Sarwan, Benn, Ramdin (WK)
Ind: Dhoni, Raina, Gambhir, Yuvraj, Yusuf, Harbhajan, Zaheer
Indian team is full of second string players, who are in the team because Seniors have opted out. Raina, one of the most experienced ODI player of India is the captain because Dhoni, Gambhir, Zaheer Khan and even Yuvraj Singh has opted out of the matches before Test series starts. Sehwag and Tendulkar has opted out of the series completely, eyeing the England series.
Harbhajan Singh is the vice-captain and would have been disappointed for being not made the captain, despite his vast experience. Munaf Patel, Praveen Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Yusuf Pathan and Rohit Sharma are seasoned players although they are yet to show the consistency to get a fixed place even in limited overs national team.
Kohli is getting more opportunity and would some day is certain to be the Indian captain. Parthiv Patel and Amit Mishra are getting opportunities to prove their abilities again. Overall even the second string team of India does not have a new face. Even Wriddhiman Saha and Badrinath have got limited opportunities at national level. Still the team is not the first-choice string.
West Indies on the other hand is trying their best to revive the glory of past by experiementing with fresh faces and sacrificing old war horses. Darren Sammy is the established captain now and he knows even series of defeats would not damage his position as captain. Gayle and Bravo the hero of last two T20s against India are not considered this time. Bravo is in ODI team, Gayle’s future is still uncertain with national team. In fact, the young team has only Samuels and Rampaul as the players who had the opportunity of playing few years back too. And the impressive team on the way to building new strong West Indies team is still second string considering major players are missing.
Players in Current Squads who have played in one of the first two matches
WI: Darren Sammy
Ind: Raina, Ishant Sharma, Harbhajan, Yusuf Pathan, Rohit Sharma
The contest between both teams can be interesting as both teams are fighting against odds. Indian team, despite good experience, has to prove to their own nation that the second string players are ready to challenge the first-choice players. West Indies team has performed impressively agianst Pakistan and they may feel more confident now at home, specially against the depleted Indian side.