File image of Rohit Sharma and Babar Azam© Twitter
India are eyeing a historic mark in the first T20I against West Indies. Less than 48 hours after their ODI series triumph, India will switch to T20 mode, again as overwhelming favourites against the West Indies in a five-match rubber starting in Tarouba from Thursday, which will provide an ideal platform to the youngsters to express themselves. In the preceding three-match 50-over rubber that had some context in the year of the ODI World Cup, India emerged victorious 2-1 after a shock defeat in the second match and the fancied visitors will have their tails up in the T20 series, too.
It will be India’s 200th T20I, and the team will become only the second team after Pakistan to reach the mark. Pakistan has so far played 223 matches.
Led by dynamic all-rounder Hardik Pandya, India will look to give opportunities to hungry guys such as Yashasvi Jaiswal, Tilak Varma and Mukesh Kumar in these five matches beginning with the opener at the Brian Lara Stadium.
It was their stellar performances in the Indian Premier League that have earned the likes of Varma and Jaiswal a maiden call-up to India’s T20I squad and they will certainly look to make the most of it.
On the other hand, the selectors, in the first meeting with Ajit Agarkar as their chairman, brought back Sanju Samson, and the seasoned swashbuckler batter-cum keeper will strive to make the opportunity count and see where he stands as far his place in the ODI World Cup squad is concerned.
Given the West Indies’ terminal decline across formats in recent times, the Indians are expected to call the shots.
With PTI inputs
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