As India take on West Indies in the first T20 International (T20I) of their 3 match series in Hyderabad, it will be an opportunity for KL Rahul to assert some authority for the opener’s slot along with Rohit Sharma, while Rishabh Pant will get another opportunity to show that he has the right to be on the trip to Australia in October next year for the T20 World Cup. West Indies, then again, will be searching for some playback, having lost 3-0 when India played them last.
With Indian Captain Virat Kohli, back to the T20I squad, having sat out of the series against Bangladesh, KL Rahul will probably move up to the opener’s slot along with Rohit Sharma that was left empty due to Shikhar Dhawan’s accidental injury.
Rahul impressed in the 3rd T20I against Bangladesh with a fine ½ Century as India edged the match series decider. Rahul has been dynamic in the IPL as an opener and would need to utilize the chance to show why he ought to be picked in his preferred role.
Sanju Samson, who was picked for the Bangladesh match series and dropped without getting a game, has been recalled to the squad as Dhawan’s substitution. The Kerala wicketkeeper-batsman’s being there will just include further pressure on Rishabh Pant, who had a unpleasant match series against Bangladesh.
The left-hander again unsuccessful to get major score with the bat and to add to his hardships, he made a match series of mistakes behind the stumps and with DRS calls.
Albeit given a long rope by the team management, Pant would realize that he needs to demonstrate that he deserves it, with Sanju Samson breathing down his neck and Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s future still in the balance.
In the bowling department, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Kuldeep Yadav have come back to the squad. While Bhuvneshwar was out with injury, Kuldeep has been ignored for selection in India’s limited overs squad since they visited New Zealand in February.
Mohammed Shami has additionally made the squad. Deepak Chahar, who recorded the best figures in men’s T20Is in the match series decider against Bangladesh, will hope to dazzle within the sight of his senior fast bowlers.
West Indies will hope to ricochet once more from their 2-1 T20I match series thrashing to Afghanistan in Lucknow.