India vs West Indies: Match preview, TV listing, Key players
India and West Indies are set to fight it out in the first T20I at the Eden Gardens on Sunday. After sealing the ODI series 3-1, hosts India will be looking to gain momentum from the first match itself. Virat Kohli-less side will be aiming to give a good account of themselves under the leadership of Rohit Sharma. Here's all you need to know.
All eyes on Rohit Sharma in absence of Kohli, MSD
India will hope that stand-in skipper Rohit guides the team well. The opening batsman has been an effective leader in the opportunities, he has received till now. Sharma helped the side win the Nidahas Trophy T20 series, earlier this year. He also played a prominent role in the Asia Cup 2018 to steer Men in Blue to the trophy win.
Chance for several players to make it count
This is an opportunity for players like Manish Pandey and Krunal Pandya to cement their spots. Both add steel in the middle order. Further, the likes of KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant will look to prove their worth. These two were superb in the IPL 2018 season. However, Pant's wicket-keeping has been sub-par, which would be a cause of concern for Sharma.
12-man squad announced by BCCI
No Russell power for depleted Windies
West Indies were keen to have the services of star all-rounder Andre Russell, but the player has been ruled out of the series. It came to the fore that Russell didn't reach India, as he has been nursing an injury. His knee injury has been bothering him since quite some time. He will eye to make a return soon.
Windies keen to play well
West Indies will be led by Carlos Brathwaite and he will be tested severely. The team is already missing Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis at the top of the order and Russell's injury has handed them a blow. The young side will be keen to learn from the series defeat and challenge the hosts in the format, which they love.
Players to watch out for
With several big players missing out, WI will look up to the likes of Kieron Pollard to add the impetus in the middle order. Pollard knows the conditions well and is a genuine match-winner on his day. For India, Shikhar Dhawan will have a point to prove after being dropped from the Test team recently. Rohit's captaincy will be key.
TV listing and timing
The match will be telecast live on the Star Sports network and can be watched in both English and Hindi commentary. The match is scheduled for a 7:00 PM kick-off. It can also be streamed live on Hotstar.