India is down 0-1 in the five-match T20I series after losing the first match by four runs against the West Indies.
In the first T20I match between India and West Indies in Tarouba, Nicholas Pooran looked in excellent form as he smashed 41 off just 34 deliveries. He had a strong Major Cricket League (MLC) season prior to the game, and he appeared at ease facing the Indian bowling assault. The action will now take place at Providence Stadium in Guyana, a venue where Pooran has had some recent success. Pooran scored 73 against Bangladesh in the final ODI he played here in 2022.
In Guyana, West Indies play Bangladesh in a T20I match as part of the same tour, and Pooran once again shines, scoring 74 off 39 balls with five fours and five sixes. In the five-match series, India is behind 0-1; if the pattern holds, Pooran might become a significant issue for the visitors.
When they take on a strong West Indies team in the second T20 International of the five-match series on Sunday, India’s most sought-after IPL stars will have a reputation to defend and parity to restore.
In the inaugural match in Tarouba, West Indies won thanks to a strong back-end bowling performance and a boundary that separated the two teams.
In an ODI World Cup year, the T20I series is of little significance, but captain Hardik Pandya and his replacement Suryakumar Yadav anticipate putting on a much better batting performance, both individually and collectively.
The pair, along with Ishan Kishan, Shubman Gill, and Sanju Samson, are all focused on the ODI World Cup, but no one would enjoy a couple strong performances that would boost their confidence before the Asia Cup.
With the exception of rookie Tilak Varma, who throughout his 39-run innings appeared fit for international cricket, the Indian batting lineup was full of IPL prima donnas making hefty paychecks.
However, with five Twenty20 matches taking place over the course of nine days and involving Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana, and the United States, it is also crucial that players like captain Hardik, openers Gill and Kishan, and spinner Kuldeep Yadav receive enough rest while keeping the bigger picture in mind.