Match Preview: 1st T20 West Indies Vs India at
Lauderhill, August 27, 2016
How Kumble will adapt to Dhoni’s calmer and more conservative style, even when he leads in limited-overs, will be interesting to watch.
While this series is in danger of being reduced to an annual junket, there is a lot riding in it for Dhoni. The wicketkeeper-batsman has had a storied career but there are questions being asked of his leadership and rapidly evaporating finishing skills as a batsman. That much was evident in the home series against South Africa and in one of the T20 games against Zimbabwe when the skipper failed to steer the side home even in what appeared to be a routine chase against rookie bowlers. As a skipper, he has won only one bilateral series in the past year and that too came against Zimbabwe, a tour he previously opted out of and this time curiously chose to go to.
With Dhoni having retired from Tests, there is pressure on him to lead India with success and also get back his famed hitting and match-turning skills. Even Ravi Shastri, the former India team director stressed in no uncertain terms that it is time Dhoni made way for Virat to lead in all formats and be ready to enjoy the game.
Can Kumble liberate him from the pressures of leadership and spark a renaissance in his batting form? There is no better way to start it than the T20s, a format where the legend of MSD first took shape almost nine years ago in South Africa.
1 Chris Gayle, 2 Johnson Charles, 3 Andre Fletcher, 4 Marlon Samuels, 5 Lendl Simmons, 6 Dwayne Bravo, 7 Andre Russell, 8 Kieron Pollard, 9 Carlos Brathwaite (capt.), 10 Sunil Narine, 11 Samuel Badree
1 Rohit Sharma, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 KL Rahul, 5 Ajinkya Rahane, 6 MS Dhoni (capt. & wk), 7 Stuart Binny/Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 8 Ravindra Jadeja/Amit Mishra, 9 R Ashwin, 10 Jasprit Bumrah, 11 Mohammed Shami