Rohit returns as India eye another series win over West Indies

By Sports Desk July 28, 2022

Rohit Sharma returns to lead India when a five-match Twenty20 International series against West Indies starts on Friday.

India's captain was rested for the 3-0 one-day international whitewash of the Windies, but will be back in action at the Brian Lara Cricket Academy,

Shikhar Dhawan skippered the tourists as his fellow opener was given a rest for the 50-over contests.

Rohit will expect India to maintain their momentum when the series gets under way in Tarouba, Trinidad, with the T20 World Cup in Australia on the horizon.

India have won five and drawn one of their past six series in the shortest format, beating England most recently.

They are top of the rankings and have shown their strength in depth amid a hectic schedule.

Jasprit Bumrah and Yuzvendra Chahal have been rested for this series along with out-of-sorts former captain Virat Kohli, but the likes of Ravichandran Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav are back.

West Indies beat Bangladesh 2-0 in their last T20I series, but India consigned them to a 3-0 clean sweep in February.

Nicholas Pooran has endured a difficult start to his tenure as Windies white-ball skipper and his side face another big challenge in a series that includes two matches in Florida.

Yadav primed for more heroics

Suryakumar Yadav made a match-winning 117 when India beat England in the T20I decider at Trent Bridge.

With fierce competition in the middle order and Kohli absent, Yadav will see this series as another opportunity to cement his spot.

Windies batters must show consistency

Despite being beaten by India in all three ODIs, West Indies twice posted over 300.

They must show a consistency that has been lacking as they build towards the World Cup, led by Pooran, who has certainly not been short of runs as skipper and was man of the series in the T20I series success over the Tigers.

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    Matthew Mott's side are on the brink of an early elimination this month, with their 20-over title defence seemingly crumbling without escaping the group stage.

    England struggled before rain washed out their opener with Scotland, who are the favourites to progress after Australia overcame Buttler's side on Saturday.

    The defending champions must beat Oman and Namibia, while needing Australia to overcome Scotland by a less-than-narrow margin to have any hopes of going through on net run-rate.

    That has brought questions over Buttler's tenure as England captain, though Root placed his backing in the 33-year-old, a former international team-mate and good friend of his.

    "Jos is one of my good friends," the England Test star said. "I think he's a brilliant captain, so I don't think there's any question.

    "I think they'll be absolutely fine, they've got a wonderful squad of players. They know exactly what they need to do.

    "When it's all laid out and they've got their backs to the wall, which they have in this situation now, is when they play their best cricket.

    "It could really bring the best out of them, so I've got no worries whatsoever.

    "If they go out and do what they all know that they're capable of doing, we'll be finding ourselves in the Super 8s and the back-end of the tournament where it really matters to play our best stuff."

    England face Oman on Thursday before meeting Namibia on Saturday, when Scotland go against Australia later in the day, boasting the advantage of knowing what result is required to progress.

    That is on the minds of Australian players, too, with bowler Josh Hazlewood weighing up the options of helping send England out of the competition.

    England coach Mott hopes the Australia quick's comments were in jest, though matters could be out of his side's hands come the weekend in the United States and West Indies.

  • Rohit relieved after India battle past USA to reach Super 8s at T20 World Cup Rohit relieved after India battle past USA to reach Super 8s at T20 World Cup

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    Rahul Dravid's white-ball side progressed through the group stages with a game to spare after Wednesday's seven-wicket victory over the co-hosts in New York.

    Having already overcome struggling Ireland and fierce rivals Pakistan, a third straight win in Group A was enough to send India through as Rohit's team prepare for the latter stages of the tournament.

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    It could have been a different story, however, as India lost Rohit (three) and Virat Kohli to a golden duck in the start to their chase.

    That stark warning left a lasting imprint on Rohit's memory as the India captain credited the battling USA showing.

    "We knew it was going to be a tough task, scoring that many," Rohit said at his post-match interview. "Credit to us for chasing it down.

    "SKY and [Shivam] Dube did well in the end. We knew our bowlers had to take the lead as scoring is tough on this pitch.

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    "The boys were disciplined today, pleased that the game got close," USA captain Aaron Jones said. "We've wanted fans, talked about it for a couple of years.

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    India secured their place in the T20 World Cup Super 8s with a game to spare after recovering from a slow start to see off the United States.

    Suryakumar Yadav hit an unbeaten half-century as India successfully chased down their opponents' target of 111 for a seven-wicket victory - and their third win in as many Group A matches.

    The tournament co-hosts also entered the contest with a perfect record from their opening two games, but endured a poor start as Arshdeep Singh claimed Shayan Jahangir and Andries Gous in the first over.

    That left them at 3-2, but they managed to settle with Steven Taylor (24 from 30 balls) and Nitish Kumar (27 off 23) top-scoring as their side finished at 110-8.

    However, the States made a purposeful start in the field. With the second ball, Virat Kohli was gone for a duck as Gous caught him from Saurabh Netravalkar, who also dismissed Rohit Sharma for just three.

    Suryakumar (50 off 49 not out) stepped in and held the fort alongside Shivam Dube (31 off 45 not out), though India were still in danger of a potential shock, needing 35 off the final 30 balls.

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    It was not as comfortable as India would have hoped for but, nevertheless, they managed to get the job done, with Suryakumar leading the charge.

    However, the form of Kohli will be a cause for concern. His dismissal for a golden duck means he has now scored just five runs in his nation's opening three matches.

    The five-run penalty proved a crucial moment in the contest, with USA the first team to be penalised by the stop-clock rule, but they can take plenty of positives from their display in New York.

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