Rampant India set for maiden appearance at Providence

West Indies head coach Floyd Reifer at the Press conference yesterday. (Adrian Narine photo)

– WI looking to salvage some pride

A rampant India cricket team has returned to Guyana for the first time since 2002 and will make their maiden appearance at the National Stadium, Providence, today for the final T20 game against the West Indies from 10:30hrs.

India arrived for the three-match T20I series armed with performers from this year’s IPL. However, they stuck to the same line-up for the first two games and pocketed an unassailable 2-nil lead heading into today’s final game.

On the other hand, West Indies have more on their plate than squad rotation. They’ve done little wrong with the ball in hand so far – even making India sweat in a sub-100 chase,  but their batting has let them down.

Though they did show improvement in the second game, there’s still a lot left to be desired. A return to familiar climate could just be the kind of boost they need to perform at optimum level considering the line-up they possess.

Virat Kohli

During the pre-match press conference yesterday at the Pegasus Hotel, head coach Floyd Reifer has underscored that while the results in Florida are not favorable, there were some positives which has given him cause for optimism.

“It’s not the results we wanted but we are building a team…I thought that the second game we played we put on a better showing, unfortunately the rain came down where I thought we were in a good position to charge towards those runs, but we have a lot of positives going forward for us,” Reifer said.

He added that the focus has been trained towards next year’s World T20 when more talent will be exposed.

“In building towards next year, the important thing for us is to get that squad together and play as many games together as a squad…trying to learn each other’s game, strength, weakness, and play as a team. We will be looking at the CPL as well, so hopefully, some good talent can come out of there as well,” Reifer, the former West Indies captain reckoned.

Meanwhile, Cricket West Indies interim selection panel has named Fabian Allen to replace Khary Pierre.

Allen, 24, has so far played nine T20 Internationals and 10 One-Day Internationals. He last played for West Indies in the recent ICC Cricket World Cup in England where he made his maiden half-century at the international level.

Following Sunday’s win in Florida, India’s captain Virat Kohli had said that the Indian team will be looking to experiment and “bring a few guys in” for the final match of the T20I series.

“Winning is always going to be a priority. But sealing the series gives the chance to bring a few guys in. The idea is always going to be to win first. But winning the first two games gives the cushion,” said Kohli.

After the T20I series, India and West Indies will clash in a three-match ODI series which will be followed by a two-match Test series.

The first ODI is set for the Providence Stadium on Thursday.

West Indies squad: Carlos Brathwaite (captain), Fabian Allen, Anthony Bramble, John Campbell, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Keemo Paul, Kieron Pollard, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Sunil Narine and Oshane Thomas.

India squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (WKp), Krunal Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Rahul Chahar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini.