West Indies' limited-overs side need revamp. They had an ordinary ODI World Cup followed by a depressing show against Indians at home. Recently against Afghanistan, under the leadership of Kieron Pollard, they were ruthless in the one-dayers but lost steam in the T20Is.
Their next assignment are India. Pollard and Co know how difficult a task it is against a full-fledged Indian unit, let by Virat Kohli. The focus yet again will be more in T20Is ahead of the World Cup next year and Windies will be looking to find answers to many questions in hand in order to build a strong squad for the mega event.
Here, we look at five key players who can play a big role in shaping the result for West Indies in this limited-overs tour.
Shimron Hetmyer: Hetmyer is an issue for the West Indies at the moment. He had an ordinary World Cup and even after that, his outings against India and Afghanistan do not speak much of the abundance of talent he possesses. With regards to his last year's performances, the series against India could be a decider for him. Windies have backed him as he is among the key figures in their limited-overs plan. Expect the left-handed batsman to come good in the upcoming series, beginning on 6 December. He is hungry and must be itching to go big. He will take heart from the fact that on his last tour to India in 2018, he blasted a century and followed it up with a solid 94. He has played plenty of matches in India now, courtesy of IPL games and tours of India and Afghanistan as well. So that experience will work come in handy.
Evin Lewis: In the absence of Chris Gayle, the onus to give a good start will be on Evin Lewis. He has had a good run in the home series against India in the ODI series, scoring 40*, 65 and 43. In the second ODI against Afghanistan, he struck a fifty as well. Yet the big scores are hard to find. It has been two years since Lewis scored a hundred. Lewis can be a bigger threat in T20Is for India as he has a good past record against the sub-continent nation. He will be a big player to watch out for.
Kieron Pollard: Kieron Pollard is Windies' most important player on this tour alongside Jason Holder. Besides being the captain, he holds the experience of playing the most number of matches in India, courtesy of his stints in IPL for Mumbai Indians. One cannot comment on Pollard's excellence as an international captain yet. However, he does enjoy the role and Windies management saw a figure in him who can pull the team out of this abyss in limited-overs cricket. The ODI wins against Afghanistan will keep him in good stead ahead of India matches and the T20I series loss will keep him and his team in check. Expect Windies to play a new brand of cricket against India on this tour. Will the brand of cricket work for them, only time will tell.
Jason Holder: West Indies' saviour is Holder, in Tests, in ODIs and now he wants to become one for them in T20Is too. You call him and he is there. He gets along with everyone in the team, does not mind being removed from captaincy and wants to put his best foot forward every time he is out to bat, bowl or field or lead. Whether it is about bowling long spells in Tests, or using the long handle in the shorter formats, Holder can do it all. He was in good bowling form in the series against Afghanistan and is expected to continue the good work against Indians. Also, this is a big chance for Holder to guarantee his place in the T20 side for good. He has been in and out of the side in the T20s and must look to up his batting game to suit the kind of lower-order batsman Windies are looking out for.
Sheldon Cottrell: Cottrell will be bowling in and against India for the first time and expect him to continue his good show against the hosts. In three T20Is he has played against Indians, he has bowled with an economy rate of under 7 and went wicket only once. His ODI record is a decent one too against Virat Kohli and Co. Cottrell being a left-arm pacer also works in his favour against the mighty batting line up of the hosts. India top three — Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, and Virat Kohli — struggle against the incoming deliveries of the left-arm pacers. If he manages to get through the top order, things can become awry for inexperienced Indian middle order in the series.
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