Virat Kohli is likely to be omitted for the series as the former Indian skipper had asked for a rest.
The Indian cricket team flexed their muscle in the opening two T20I games of the recently-concluded three-match series as they resigned England to consecutive 45+ runs defeats. Following the triumph of the T20I side on English soil, they will take on the hosts for a three-match ODI series, beginning on 12th July.
One of the heavyweight contenders for the T20 World Cup in Australia later this year, India will travel to West Indies for two limited-overs series. After the initial three-match ODI series, the Men in Blue will engage in five T20Is against the islanders. Notably, the team for the 50-over series has been confirmed, which is to be led by Shikhar Dhawan. However, the T20I squad for the five-match series is yet to be announced.
Here are the probable 15 players to make it to the squad West Indies T20Is
1. Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma had a forgetful outing in the IPL this term as his Mumbai Indians finished with the wooden spoon, his personal form slumping as well. India’s all-format skipper was rested for the T20I series against South Africa and did not take part in the Ireland tour, preparing for the rescheduled fifth Test against England.
But catastrophe hit the Indian team as he was ruled out of the all-important Test following a positive Covid-19 report. The classy opener returned to lead the visitors in the three-match T20I series after recovering from the Covid infection.
Although India triumphed in the series, the Indian skipper’s form remains a concern for the team. Runs from his bat are of utter importance, especially with the T20 WC insights. Nevertheless, Rohit has an enviable record against the islanders, scoring 585 runs in 18 outings, his highest tally against any team in T20Is.
2. Ishan Kishan
Alike his Mumbai Indians and India skipper, Ishan Kishan also endured a turbulent IPL 2022 campaign, but he redeemed himself after an impressive T20I home series against South Africa. The biggest weakness for the southpaw has been his impatience at the crease, with inconsistencies creeping into his game.
Kishan is well aware of the competition for the opening slot in the limited-overs side and is likely to be warming the bench once KL Rahul recovers from his injury. But a commanding outing against the West Indies will surely put his name in contention for the T20 WC in Australia.
3. Deepak Hooda
You’ll have to be a brave man to drop Deepak Hooda from the T20I team at the moment, as the omission of the in-form batter in the second and third T20I against England created a whirlwind across social media. The middle-order batter is in red hot form at the moment and is almost a guarantee to feature in the Caribbean. Not to forget, he also has a T20I century to his name.
4. Suryakumar Yadav
Fresh off his trailblazing century in the final T20I at Trent Bridge, Suryakumar Yadav is a vital cog in the Indian middle order, not only for the West Indies tour but also for the T20 World Cup and 50-over World Cup. India’s very own Mr. 360 degree has matured considerably in the last couple of years and has become one of the mainstays of the white-ball team.
5. Bhuvneshwar Kumar
If you are an Indian cricket fan and are having a bad day, type the name Bhuvneshwar Kumar on Youtube and enjoy watching him knock over the stumps with his scintillating swinging deliveries. India’s best swing bowler in the last decade has made a remarkable comeback to the national team after a series of unfortunate injuries.
Not only can the veteran pacer rattle batters with his prodigious swing with the new ball, but he is economical at the death too, with his change-ups and yorkers. Bhuvneshwar’s revival on the international stage bodes well for the Indian team with hopes of clinching a second T20 WC in Australia later this year.
6. Jasprit Bumrah
India’s bowling spearhead in all three formats, Jasprit Bumrah, is undoubtedly their prime asset in the bowling department. After an indifferent start to IPL 2022, the speedster performed diligently in the latter stages of the tournament.
The stand-in captain in the fifth Test against England, Bumrah showed glimpses of his improved batting skills with his pyrotechnics against a hapless Stuart Broad. Bumrah’s form in T20Is is of considerable value for the Indian team, with the T20 WC fast approaching.
7. Arshdeep Singh
Arshdeep Singh couldn’t have asked for a better international debut as he bowled a superb maiden in his first over for the Indian team against England in the T20I series opener. The left-arm pacer showed no signs of nerves and had the English batters on the rope with his brilliant swinging deliveries. India finally looks like they found an heir to left-arm bowling greats like Ashish Nehra, Irfan Pathan and Zaheer Khan.
8. Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya is the hottest commodity in Indian cricket right now. After leading Gujarat Titans to glory in their debut season in IPL 2022, the all-rounder has taken his game to another level. Often criticized for throwing his wicket away at crucial moments, there aren’t many dependent players than him in the squad as of now.
The 28-year-old has seemingly put his injury woes behind him and is contributing to the team in every way possible. His stint as a captain in the IPL and the Ireland tour has made a strong case for leadership roles in the national team in the future.
9. Ravindra Jadeja
Another all-rounder who has come in leaps and bounces in the last few years is Ravindra Jadeja. Primarily a bowling all-rounder in the past, the southpaw has improved his batting remarkably and is now a solid lower-order batter and is capable of sending the ball soaring over the ropes as well. Jadeja didn’t have the best of times with the ball in the recently concluded T20I series but is likely to feature for the team in the Caribbean, given his all-around abilities.
10. Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant’s career has taken a bewildering twist in the last couple of years or so. The southpaw, who was drafted into the Indian team to take the mantle of the finisher from MS Dhoni in white-ball cricket, has had more impact in the traditional form of the game instead. The explosive southpaw has struggled in limited-overs cricket recently and will be hoping to carry his tremendous form into white-ball cricket as well.
11. Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra reclaimed his place in the Indian T20I side after a record-breaking season with Rajasthan Royals in the IPL earlier this year. The leggie won the Purple cap by scalping 27 wickets in the tournament, the most by any spinner in an IPL season, breaking Imran Tahir’s record of 26 wickets in 2019.
The diminutive bowler has been at his very best as he has enticed batters with his guile and accuracy, outwitting them consistently. It remains to be seen if he is a part of plans for the ICC event in Australia, but so far, he has done his chances no harm with his impressive bowling performances since his recall to the national team.
12. Sanju Samson
Sanju Samson’s career has blown hot and cold at times as the talented batter has often shown glimpses of his tremendous potential but has failed to deliver on those promises. After a decent IPL 2022Samson featured for the Indian team in the tour of Ireland and scored a typically fluent half-century in the second T20I, his maiden on the international stage.
Unfortunately, he wasn’t selected in the playing XI for the first T20I against England and wasn’t even part of the squad for the remaining two matches of the series. The elegant batter is likely to feature against the West Indies as the team management will like to give another chance to the talented top-order batter.
13. Harshal Patel
Harshal Patel has become one of the mainstays of India’s T20I side since his record-breaking IPL season last year. The canny bowler has been potent for the Men in Blue with his subtle variations and is handful at the death when the batters are looking to score quick runs. Harshal’s form is a great sign for the Indian team as his impressive death bowling skills can take some of the burden off Bumrah’s shoulders.
14. Dinesh Karthik
Dinesh Karthik’s international career is nothing short of a Bollywood movie. The veteran wicketkeeper-batter featured for the Indian team in their first-ever T20I in 2006 and was the Player of the Match for his late heroics with the bat, but was never a guaranteed starter for the team until now.
Karthik reinvented his batting in IPL 2022, excelling marvelously in the role of a finisher for Royal challengers Bangalore. His batting prowess allows the likes of Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya to take their time in the middle while he can just start smashing bowlers from the get-go.
15. Avesh Khan
IPL 2022 saw an unprecedented number of young Indian fast bowlers take the center stage with immaculate bowling displays, Avesh Khan being one of them. The 25-year-old has made the most of his opportunities since getting a chance in the national side. Still, only a handful of old games, Avesh has much to learn, especially bowling in tough conditions against quality batters in the T20 format.