India vs West Indies 1st T20 Preview and Prediction: Can Tourists Bounce Back?

Rishabh Pant in T20 action for India.

The West Indies tour of India has resulted in precious little for the visitors to celebrate so far, though it has provided India with a much-needed tonic after their own difficult trip to South Africa. But the T20s might just give the West Indies the chance to bounce back. Who will come out on top in the first match? Read on for our full India vs West Indies 1st T20 preview and prediction:

India vs West Indies 1st T20 Preview and Prediction

Recent Form

India have not played a great deal of T20 cricket lately, having been focused instead on the longer forms of the game. But they did enjoy a comfortable 3-0 series victory on home turf against New Zealand just after their disappointing World Cup campaign and Rohit Sharma’s white-ball captaincy has started well. After he missed the entire tour of South Africa, he led his side to three crushing victories over the West Indies in the recently concluded ODI series.

The West Indies, meanwhile, arrived in India fresh from a thrilling series win over England, the number one ranked side in the world, on home turf. But they were unable to carry that momentum into the ODI series as their frailties with the bat were ruthlessly exposed by a talented Indian attack. Concerningly, they looked equally uncomfortable against pace and spin, failing to cross 200 in all three matches. They will need a sharp improvement on that if they are to be competitive here.

Expected Teams

The home side are not looking to experiment in this series, but Sharma will have a new partner at the top with KL Rahul out with a hamstring strain. That will likely be either Ishan Kishan or Ruturaj Gaikwad. Virat Kohli and Rishabh Pant will bat at three and four, with Shreyas Iyer and Venkatesh Iyer the likeliest options at five and six. Harshal Patel may well edge out Shardul Thakur, with the side rounded out by Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj and Avesh Khan.

Kyle Mayers did enough against England to earn a crack at the top of the order in this series alongside Brandon King. Nicholas Pooran will bat at three, with Rovman Powell and Kieron Pollard the next men in. Pollard’s return is surely very welcome. Jason Holder, Romario Shepherd, Fabian Allen and Odean Smith can all score quickly and contribute with the ball. Akeal Hosein will be hoping to recapture the excellent form he showed against England. Sheldon Cottrell will likely return to the side at 11.


As usual with day-night games in India, winning the toss will be important. But India look the side more likely to be able to recover from losing it. The West Indies did not look at all comfortable in these conditions during the ODIs and although this is a squad better equipped to play in the shortest form, they will still need to guard against the sort of collapses that cost them in the 50-over games. There should be plenty of fireworks, but expect India to prove just about too strong for the tourists.

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