Krunal Pandya, Khaleel Ahmed handed maiden T20I cap

Jo Caldwell
November 4, 2018

Rohit Sharma will lead the side in the absence of Virat Kohli, who has been rested for the series.

Manish Pandey and Dinesh Karthik are in the fray while Shreyas Iyer misses out.

A release from the BCCI announced the starting 12 for the first T20I against Windies at Eden Gardens, which includes Krunal Pandya, who could well make his global debut.

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Earlier, Krunal was part of the T20I squad in England but didn't play a game there. However, India will be wary of the threat that West Indies poses in the shorter format of the game since they are the reigning T20I champions. Also, the match will be telecast live in HD format as well! He also induced a poor stroke from Rishabh Pant.

The hosts would want skipper Rohit to lead from the front and continue his purple patch with the bat. "Resting players and giving them a break is also necessary, keeping the workload and the World Cup ahead, we need to take those necessary steps", Rohit mentioned. Apart from notching up the ODI record of 264 in 2014, Rohit has a Test century (177) and two IPL titles, making the venue his favourite.

The tourists will depend on their famed T20 specialists who play in different leagues across the globe to come good.

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Introduced in the fifth over, Bumrah picked up another in-form batsman, Shimron Hetmyer (10), in his fourth over.

Back at the ground where he hit four sixes in an over to help his side win the World T20 two years ago, Brathwaite next dismissed KL Rahul (16) in a wicket maiden over to put India on the backfoot. It was 4/45 when Pant fell, worse than West Indies who were 4/47, before Karthik and Pandey absorbed the pressure with a 38-run stand and before he and Pandya took India home. After winning the Test series 2-0 and the ODI series 3-1, India will be looking to complete a trio of series wins against the Windies. Darren Bravo, Kieron Pollard and Denesh Ramdin join Brathwaite in the battle. While that created speculations, even coach dodged the matter saying "no comments". The Windies have won only twice - the victory against ICC World XI included - in 2018, losing two games to Bangladesh in their last couple of encounters.

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