WI vs SL, 1st T20I: Match preview, stats and more
International cricket returns to the Caribbean as West Indies and Sri Lanka are set to lock horns in the first T20I on March 4. The three-T20I series will be a build-up to the impending ICC T20 World Cup. While SL see several fresh faces in the squad, the hosts have brought back a number of experienced players, including Chris Gayle. Here's the match preview.
Venue, timing, TV listing and pitch report
The Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua will host the first T20I on March 4 (3:30 AM IST). The wicket here is expected to assist the spinners as it offers turns. However, this could be a high-scoring affair due to asymmetrical boundaries. One can watch the match live on the Star Sports Network, while live streaming will be available on the Hotstar app.
WI rope in Holder, Bravo and Gayle
The likes of Oshane Thomas, Sheldon Cottrell and Shimron Hetmyer miss out after they failed to clear the fitness test. As a result, Fidel Edwards, Jason Holder, Dwayne Bravo and Gayle have earned call-ups to the side. Meanwhile, spinners Akeal Hosein and Fabian Allen could play the game. Probable XI: Simmons, Lewis, Gayle, Pooran, Pollard (c), Powell, Allen, Holder, Bravo, Hosein, Edwards.
Spotlight on leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga
For Sri Lanka, leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga will be in spotlight after his recent run in Lanka Premier League. His batting ability will also come handy for the Lankans, who miss the services of several senior players either through injury or a lack of match-fitness. Probable XI: Dickwella (wk), Gunathilaka, Fernando, Chandimal, Mathews (c), Perera, Mendis, Hasaranga, Pradeep, Chameera, Dananjaya.
A look at the interesting stats
Universe Boss Chris Gayle last played a T20I in March 2019. Even since, WI have played 18 T20Is. So far, the hosts have won five and lost seven T20Is in the leadership of Pollard. Meanwhile, Sri Lanka are without an international win in a year, having lost six games during the period. Notably, pacer Edwards could play his first international game since November 2012.