WI vs IND T20Is: Just after the conclusion of the ODI series, India & West Indies will lock horns in the five-match T20I series beginning on August 3. The series will act as a preparatory ground for both teams as they eye finalize the right combinations for the 2024 T20 World Cup to be played in West Indies & USA. Keeping in mind the importance of building a core team for the marquee event, West Indies named Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer & Oshane Thomas in the 15-member squad. While the selectors left out Shamrah Brooks, Raymon Reifer, Yannic Cariah & Sheldon Cottrell who was a part of the West Indies T20I squad for the South Africa series which they won by a 2-1 score.
Lead Selector, Desmond Haynes further said in a Press Conference that Cariah and Cottrell were in the selectors’ plans but they choose express pacer Thomas & were happy with just two spin options in the squad. Further, the selector has also requested the ground staff to curate a pitch that is more pace friendly so that they can easily have an edge over other teams in T20 World Cup 2024. The announced 15-man squad which will travel in all five matches to be played from August 3 to 13 will be reduced to a squad of 13 for each fixture before a final XI is selected for the game.
“We want Players with ‘X factor in the T20I squad”, said Haynes
Speaking about the inclusion of Tomas & Hope, Haynes said that they are seeking players with unique qualities, the “X-factor,” which led to the inclusion of Thomas and Hope in the squad. Thomas’ pace is seen as a game-changer, especially after his resurgence following a period of being overlooked. The selectors believe that developing fast bowlers is essential for West Indies cricket, and Thomas’ performance could pave the way for more fast bowlers in the future.
Regarding Shai Hopes’s inclusion, Haynes said that his impressive batting form made him an automatic choice for all three formats. The squad’s selection was influenced by the upcoming ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, with a focus on building a cohesive unit that can compete effectively in the tournament, scheduled in less than a year. The team management is keen on experimenting with various combinations to find the right mix of players. They aim to prepare thoroughly and nurture match-winners to be well-equipped for the global event. The journey begins with the upcoming matches in Trinidad, where they will lay the foundation for a strong T20 World Cup campaign. He highlighted the fact that other players could come into the picture depending on performances in the CPL starting on August 17.
Shimron Hetmyer & Oshane Thomas makes a comeback for WI vs IND T20Is
Shimron Hetmyer who had last played a T20I in August 2022 will make a comeback in the T20I series against West Indies. He was earlier excluded from the limited-overs squad because of his form & fitness issues. But he makes a cut into the T20I squad based on his exemplary performances in t20I format. Hetmyer was a part of the Seattle Orcas squad in the MLC 2023 who ended the tournament as the runners-up. Prior to his Major League cricket, he displayed spell-bounding performance in IPL 2023 scoring 299 runs for RR at a strike rate of 151.77 with an average of 37.37.
One of the significant comebacks is that of Shai Hope, the star batter and current ODI captain for the West Indies. Having last played a T20I in February 2022 in India, Hope’s return after over a year adds depth to the batting lineup. Although he has played only 19 T20Is with a modest average of 17.88, his potential to make an impact cannot be undermined.
Another player making a long-awaited return is Oshane Thomas, a fast bowler whose absence from the T20I set-up dates back to December 2021. Despite not playing any cricket since December 2022, Thomas has been brought in with a specific purpose – to make a difference with his pace. The selectors are keen on developing fast bowlers for West Indies cricket, and Thomas’ inclusion is seen as a step towards that objective.
The squad’s composition reflects a focus on finding the right combination for the upcoming T20 World Cup. The management opted for two spin options in Akeal Hosein and Roston Chase, passing over leg break-googly bowlers. Akeal Hosein has been impressive in T20 games, and the inclusion of off-spin option Roston Chase aims to bolster the spin department. However, the team’s priority for the India T20I series was to explore a mix that offers a bit of pace. Besides Alzarri Joseph, the West Indies lacks express pace, which led to the decision of bringing in Oshane Thomas.
WI vs IND T20Is will be played from August 3 to 13
The five-match T20I series against India will be played across the Caribbean and the USA, promising a thrilling spectacle for fans worldwide. The series kicks off in Tarouba on August 3, followed by two games in Providence on August 6 and 8. The action then shifts to Lauderhill, Florida, for the final two games on August 12 and 13.
With T20 World Cup 2024 in the picture, West Indies will try their best to build a strong t20I squad by testing the squads’ bench strength. As cricket enthusiasts eagerly await the clashes between these two cricketing giants, the West Indies squad is gearing up to deliver a formidable performance and make their mark in the T20I series against India.
West Indies squad for the T20I series against India:
Rovman Powell (capt), Kyle Mayers (vice-capt), Johnson Charles, Roston Chase, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Obed McCoy, Nicholas Pooran, Romario Shepherd, Odean Smith, Oshane Thomas