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India vs West Indies, one-off T20I: Five key player battles to watch out for

Ahead of India’s one-off T20I against the West Indies at Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica, a look at the five key player battles to watch out for

india vs west indies 2017 Updated: Jul 09, 2017 12:51 IST
HT  Correspondent
Chris Gayle’s (L) duel with Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2R) will be an interesting one to watch out for.
Chris Gayle’s (L) duel with Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2R) will be an interesting one to watch out for.(AFP/Getty Images)

With India and West Indies set to go head-to-head in the one-off T20I at the Sabina Park in Kingston, Jamaica, on Sunday, here is a look at the five key player battles to watch out for:

Chris Gayle v Bhuvneshwar Kumar

While Chris Gayle’s presence has given the West Indies side a renewed look in the batting order, hopes can’t be completely pinned on the talismanic batsman if one takes a look at his recent past. He has played 18 T20I matches in 2017 but has managed to score just 360 runs at an average of 20.

Also, he has scored just one half-century this season. The numbers are, however, significantly different when it comes to his matches against India with the average going up to 39.75 in the four games, while the strike rate is at 119.54 in the four games.

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His clash against Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the most successful bowler in the recently concluded Indian Premier League, will be an interesting one to watch out for, given that Kumar can swing the ball both ways.

Samuel Badree v Rohit Sharma

Samuel Badree (C) has dismissed Rohit Sharma (R) in the past. (AFP/Getty Images)

With 50 wickets in the shortest format of the game, Samuel Badree will be one of the strike bowlers West Indies will look up to when they take on India in the one-off T20I on Sunday.

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The leg-break bowler had an impressive run in the Indian Premier League this season and although he finished with just nine wickets from seven matches, his strike rate of 16.66 proved his calibre. Against Rohit Sharma, who he has scalped on a previous occasion, Badree might pose a few threats with the ball turning away from the right-hander.

Sunil Narine v Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli (C) would like to continue his good form, but Sunil Narine (R) will have other ideas. (AFP/Getty Images)

If Virat Kohli has earned his reputation with the bat and is considered as one of the best in the world, Sunil Narine has taken the world by storm with his wily deliveries that even had the legendary Sachin Tendulkar on his knees once. It should be an entertaining duel given Narine has earned his reputation to dry up runs while Kohli likes to play aggressive throughout. The Indian captain is in good touch as well and would want to continue his form.

Evin Lewis v Mohammed Shami

Mohammed Shami (L) will be in no mood to allow Evin Lewis to be in his comfort zone. (HT Photo/Agencies)

Evin Lewis’s only century in the T20I format till date came at Lauderhill against India last year when the two had met for a two-match series. It was only his second international T20I game, but the right handed batsman hammered the Indian bowlers to all corners of the park; scoring 100 off just 49 deliveries.

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It was not only the second fastest by a West Indian, behind Gayle’s 47-ball ton against England, but was also the fifth fastest in T20I history. However, since then, in 10 games, Lewis has managed to score just a single half-century and Mohammed Shami might prove to be a bit tough to deal with given the amount of swing he can produce of the surface.

Carlos Brathwaite v Hardik Pandya

Both Carlos Brathwaite (L) and Hardik Pandya will have important roles to play for their teams. (HT Photo/Agencies)

They both have a certain role to play for their team — score quickfire runs coming lower down the order and pick up wickets with the ball. Apart from that, they both bowl at the death for their respective sides and that is bound to pit them against each other.

Hardik Pandya has had an astronomical rise over the past 12 months for the national side and has been captain Kohli’s favourite for quite some time now. On the other hand, Carlos Brathwaite’s versatility has helped him emerge as one of the most vital characters in the Caribbean side.