Will India’s new T20 machine spring another surprise in St Kitts?


India’s T20 machine is spinning again. All the talk from the team – from the coach to the captain to the players – is that they haven’t done much else. But it’s pretty clear that the untimely exit from last year’s T20 World Cup has sparked some sort of revolution.

From a team that relied completely on their big bad top three – to the point that Virat Kohli once stood upright at the prospect of ever dropping Rohit Sharma – India is now charging their finishers forward to shake things up a bit. Rishabh Pant has had a stint as an opener in England. Suryakumar Yadav also featured in the first T20I of this series.

India has also grown hot on the idea of ​​picking super specialists, with Arshdeep Singh making his way to the XI to throw his remarkably hard-to-hit yorkers at death and Dinesh Karthik virtually nailing his spot as the 12-ball 38 non- out man. It’s a brave new world out there.

And the West Indies are still trying to find their place in it. They have the raw material for another team to become world champions, but they haven’t had the kind of experience that Chris Gayle and his company had under their belts when they took T20 batting and broken it down into the most essential: six-hitting. So in a way, all these games against seriously strong opponents, no matter the outcome, are just creating the next wave of Caribbean class. But since there’s a series at stake and they dominated the first 15 overs of the first T20I a bit, these would-be superstars will feel like their own time is not far off.

West Indies: LWWLL (last five games, most recent first)
India: WWWW

Harshal Patel had to give way in Tarouba because circumstances demanded three spinners. But now that the T20 caravan has moved to Basseterre, it may find its way back to the XI. The 31-year-old sailor has an uncanny knack for bowling exactly the ball batters don’t want to run into in the final overs. And such an asset a captain wants more often than not.

Kyle Mayers‘ all-round ability means it’s never far from the limelight. And the fact that he’s opening for the West Indies means he’s the kind of player who can define a cricket match. He’s already done this in the game’s most difficult format – remember Chittagong 2021 – so figuring out T20 cricket shouldn’t be too much of a problem.

Brandon King and Romario Shepherd will return to the XI after missing the first T20I due to US visa arrangements. Also playing just one spinner in Tarouba backfired on the West Indies so they may be tempted to bring in Hayden Walsh Jr on Monday

West Indies: 1 Kyle Mayers, 2 Brandon King, 3 Nicholas Pooran (capt & wk), 4 Jason Holder, 5 Rovman Powell, 6 Shimron Hetmyer, 7 Romario Shepherd, 8 Akeal Hosein, 9 Keemo Paul/Hayden Walsh Jr, 10 Alzarri Joseph, 11 Obed McCoy

India rarely tinkers with a winning combination, especially on a series that’s still live, but will they need all three spinners again in Basseterre? The fast have taken 71 wickets in 10 matches here, on average only 17.

India: 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Suryakumar Yadav, 3 Shreyas Iyer, 4 Rishabh Pant (wk), 5 Hardik Pandya, 6 Ravindra Jadeja, 7 Dinesh Karthik, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Ravi Bishnoi/Harshal Patel, 10 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 11 Arshdeep Singh

Warner Park is not only friendly to fast bowlers, but is also a relatively low-scoring T20I location. It was here, in 2019, that the West Indies recorded the lowest total (45 all out) of a Full Member in this format. Clear weather is expected throughout the game.