India vs West Indies 1st T20: Will Sanju Samson make it to playing 11?

Rajasthan Royals player Sanju Samson plays a shot against Sunrisers Hyderabad during Indian Premier League 2018 match at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad. File PTI
The India cricket team will aim to continue their dominance over Windies cricket team when the two sides clash in the first of a three-match T20 series at Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad on Friday.

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India had whitewashed West Indies in all formats of the game when they visited the Caribbean for a bilateral series in August this year. However, the Men in Blue did not appear to be their best last month when they played at home against Bangladesh under Rohit Sharma’s captaincy. India conceded their first-ever T20 defeat to their Asian neighbours.

India playing 11 predictions

Top order: The Indian batting line-up will get a major fillip with regular captain Virat Kohli’s return to the T20 side. Meanwhile, K L Rahul will get a chance to open the innings with Rohit Sharma, as Shikhar Dhawan, who got injured during a Delhi fixture in Syed Mushtaq Ali Tournament, is not in the side.

Middle order: Shreyas Iyer has already proved his mettle in the middle order and the onus of providing a strong launchpad before lower-order slogs will be on him. Ably supporting him will be Manish Pandey, who recently played a good knock for Karnataka in the final match of Syed Mushtaq Ali Tournament. Rishabh Pant is more likely to be picked as the wicket-keeper than Sanju Samson. Captain Kohli indicated in his pre-match press briefing that the team would support Pant as the latter worked to get his form back.

Lower order: India’s lower order could comprise Shivam Dube as pacer-allrounder, and Ravindra Jadeja, who has so often justified his selection both with his handy spin bowling and use of the long handle of his bat in death overs.

Bowling: The Indian team management has plenty of choices in the bowling department, with Mohammed Shami carrying his red-hot form from the Tests and Deepak Chahar continuing his IPL form in international career. Also, Bhuvneshwar Kumar is back into the fold after an injury, so it will be interesting to see if he gets an automatic selection ahead of Shami and lone spinner Yuzvendra Chahal.

Tentative India playing 11: Rohit Sharma, K L Rahul, Virat Kohli (capt), Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wk), Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar.

West Indies playing 11 predictions

So far as West Indies are concerned, the onus of leading the way in countering Indian bowlers will be on the experienced batsmen in the side. Captain Pollard will have to lead from the front, and put enough runs on the board along with Evin Lewis to give his bowlers a chance to put some pressure on the Indian batsmen.

Tentative West Indies Playing 11: Evin Lewis, Lendl Simmons, Brandon King, Shimron Hetmyer, Kieron Pollard (capt), Denesh Ramdin (wk), Jason Holder, Khary Pierre/Keemo Paul, Fabian Allen, Hayden Walsh Jr, Sheldon Cottrell

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