Many of the big-name West Indies T20 players, including Andre Russell and Dwayne Bravo, have been axed from their teams in the Pakistan Super League ahead of its February 2020 start during Saturday’s draft in Lahore.

West Indies limited-overs captain Kieron Pollard has placed the blame for a six-wicket defeat to India in the first T20 international of their tour of India squarely at the feet of the bowlers.

The West Indies, sent into bat in the first game of a three-match series, batted well to score 207-4 from their 20 overs, but found the big total not enough, as India romped to 209-4 in 18.4 overs.

For the West Indies, Evin Lewis scored 40 from 17 deliveries, Brandon King announced himself with 31 from 23 balls, and Shimron Hetmyer notched his first half-century in international T20s with 56 from 41. Pollard scored 37 from 19, Jason Holder had a worldwind 24 not out from nine balls, while Denesh Ramdin ended unbeaten on 11 from seven.

In reply, KL Rahul slammed 62 from 40 deliveries, while India captain Virat Kohli was imperious with 94 not out from 50 deliveries.

“Batters had a good effort. You'd take 208 ten out of 10 times,” said Pollard after the game.

“We lost due to the extras column,” said Pollard.

In a bowling innings where Kesrick Williams had none for 60 in 3.4 overs, and Holder struggled, going wicketless for 46 runs, it was still the extras column that was problematic for the skipper. While Sheldon Cottrell was good, taking 1-24 from his four overs, and Khary Pierre took two wickets for 44, the 23 extras, stemming from 11 illegal deliveries, the West Indies racked up was too much.

“Nearly two and a half overs of extra deliveries. Yes, it was a batting wicket, but if we executed our plans better, it could've been a different story,” said Pollard.

Despite the loss and the manner of defeat, Pollard believes the outing was good for the West Indies and showed they were not far away from being a very good T20 side.

“There are only two areas where we lost the game in. Usually we tend to focus on negatives, but a lot of positives to take away today. King and Hetmyer showed great intent. Fielders did well. In the end, we need to improve, and we will win if we learn to tick more boxes. Can't fault the effort of the guys."

The West Indies will look to get the formula right on Sunday when they again go up against India in a bid to even the series at The Greenfield Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram.

Captain Virat Kohli led from the front, hitting an unbeaten 94, as India overhauled West Indies' total of 207-5 with ease to record a six-wicket win in the Twenty20 series opener.

While not at his fluent best in the early stages, Kohli picked up the pace in the second half of India’s impressive run chase, rushing his side over the line with eight balls to spare in Hyderabad.

The right-hander was afforded time to get his eye in by the efforts of team-mate KL Rahul, who passed 1,000 runs in the format at international level during his knock of 62.

West Indies had cleared the boundary 15 times to set what appeared to be a stiff target at the halfway stage, Shimron Hetmyer leading the onslaught with 56. His maiden international T20 half-century was not without the odd slice of luck, however, as India missed a number of opportunities in the field.

The home team failed to take three successive chances at the start of the 17th over, allowing West Indies to post the second highest total by a touring team in a T20 fixture on Indian soil.

Evin Lewis (40) and Brandon King (31) added 51 for the second wicket, while captain Kieron Pollard weighed in with 37 from 19 deliveries, matching Hetmyer’s tally of four sixes.

Jason Holder managed two maximums himself in the final over as he contributed 24 not out, though he was on the receiving end of some heavy hitting during an India reply that overcame the early setback of losing Rohit Sharma for eight.

Rahul - back at the top of the order in place of the injured Shikhar Dhawan - helped put on a century stand with his skipper before becoming the second batsman to fall to left-arm spinner Khary Pierre (2-44).

Still, by that stage Kohli had moved through the gears as he motored towards the target. Kesrick Williams came in for some particularly heavy punishment, leaking 60 runs from his 3.4 overs, as India prevailed in the first of three T20 matches between the sides.

The West Indies will benefit from the return of Fabian Allen and Denesh Ramdin when they go to India for a T20I series.

Allen is said to be fully recovered from a hamstring strain which put him out of the West Indies 2-1 loss to Afghanistan in Lucknow, India recently.

Ramdin played part of the series as well but had to be replaced by Shai Hope after he also went down due to hamstring issues.

The Kieron Pollard-led squad has retained newcomers Hayden Walsh Jr. and Brandon King, with an eye firmly on the T20 World Cup next year.

Andre Russell continues to be missing from both the ODI and T20I squads although the allrounder, plagued with knee injuries, was fit enough to play in the Abu Dhabi T10 recently.

According to West Indies coach Phil Simmons, who marked his return to the post with successful series against Afghanistan, India is expected to provide more of a challenge than did Afghanistan and is a good way to continue to test the ‘newbies’ in lieu of the T20 World next year.

"We have three matches in each format, so we wanted to give each squad a chance to compete against India," said Simmons.

"No disrespect to Afghanistan, but facing India will be a more difficult series. Our players really got the hang of things, with the 3-0 series win in the ODIs [against Afghanistan], and I believe we will move from strength to strength," he added.

According to Simmons, the battle for places in the T20i squad will heat up and everybody should be given a fair chance to show what they are made of.

"In the T20s this will be another chance for them to play and develop, and again, with no disrespect to Afghanistan, this should be a stronger T20 country and we will look to see how they perform against India. The next ICC T20 World Cup is in Australia and the one after that is here in India so there is a lot of preparation to be done for first for Australia. We have given the players here a chance in this series and we know we have players outside who may be coming in later on as well, so it's good to give those here another opportunity."

The T20I series begins in Hyderabad on December 6. There are two further T20Is, in Thiruvananthapuram and Mumbai, before three ODIs in Chennai, Vizag and Cuttack.

T20I squad: Fabian Allen, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Brandon King, Evin Lewis, Keemo Paul, Khary Pierre, Kieron Pollard (capt), Nicholas Pooran, Denesh Ramdin, Sherfane Rutherford, Lendl Simmons, Hayden Walsh Jr, Kesrick Williams

ODI squad: Sunil Ambris, Roston Chase, Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Evin Lewis, Keemo Paul, Khary Pierre, Kieron Pollard (capt), Nicholas Pooran, Romario Shepherd, Hayden Walsh Jr.

Windies T20 skipper Kieron Pollard insists the team will focus on the positives despite a 29-runs loss to Afghanistan, which handed the South Asian team a 2-1 series win on Sunday.

After winning the toss and choosing to bat, a punishing 79 from 52 balls from man-of-match Rahmanullah Gurbaz, lifted the hosts to 156 for 8 and set the table for the crucial win.  The opener was left to anchor the innings following the departure of partner Hazratullah Zazai for a duck and the team losing wickets at regular intervals.

In response, Shai Hope did his best to keep the Windies in the hunt as they pursued the target and added 52 from 46 balls.  He, however, found very little support as the team found the bowlers difficult to get away on the slow surface.  Naveen-ul-Haq was the most successful of the Afghanistan bowlers and claimed 3 for 24.

“It was a similar situation to yesterday. We found ourselves in a hole in the Powerplay and couldn't dig ourselves out of it. I can’t fault the effort of the bowlers. but having said that, the guys would have taken a lot from this series and how to adapt and play on slower pitches,” Pollard said.

 “We have a long-term plan, but we have to deal with what's in front of us right now.  I can't say what will happen in October next year (for the T20 World Cup). Yes, we are on the losing side, but these things happen. In sport, there is a winner and a loser.”

The Windies won the first T20I against Afghanistan by 30 runs, lost the second by 41 runs, before being swept aside in the decider.

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard is planning to hit back hard at Afghanistan after the hosts won their first game against his side in Lucknow, India on Saturday.

Afghanistan were dominant against the West Indies, beating them by 47 runs despite not scoring many when their side batted.

The result, largely coming on the back of Karim Janat’s 5-11, gave the skipper pause to think.

He has had things largely his own way since his debut as captain at the start of a three-match ODI series his team bossed and one T20I where they proved much better than their opposition, but now he has to will his team to come good when the outcome isn’t so clear.

“We just have 24 hours to wrong the rights, and hopefully we come back and do those things right tomorrow. 1-1 is a virtual final tomorrow, and you'd want to see how the guys react tomorrow. Happy times for us in terms of how we have played through this series. We need to have conversations on what to improve on for tomorrow,” said Pollard.

As for the game just concluded, Pollard believes the West Indies did a few things wrong.

"At the halfway stage, we were happy with 147. Their batsmen came hard at us, but we came back well, especially Kesrick. We cannot fault the bowlers. We didn't get a good start in the Powerplay, and we lost wickets every time we were trying to be aggressive,” he said.

Earlier, Afghanistan had scored 147-7 from their 20 overs with Hazratullah Zazai and Janat scoring 26, Gulbadin Naib, 24, and Najibullah Zadran, 20 not out.

Kesrick Williams had been the best bowler for the West Indies, bagging 3-23, while Keemo Paul, replacing the injured Fabian Allen, ended with 2-28, and Jason Holder, 2-23.

When the West Indies batted, only Denish Ramdin, 24 not out, seemed interested against Naveen-ul-Haq, 1-19, Rashid Khan, 1-25, Naib, 1-22, and the brilliant 5-11 from Janat.

Kieron Pollard’s 32 not-out from 22 balls and 2-17 brought a man-of-the-match and 1-0 lead in a three-match T20 series over Afghanistan but the West Indies skipper refuses to sit on his laurels.

Speaking after the first T20 in the series being played in Lucknow, India, Pollard, who led from the front in a 30-run win, said that while he was happy with the performance of the team, work was still left to be done.

"It's always good to contribute but it's always better to contribute in the winning cause,” he said of his own man-of-the-match performance.

“The partnership between Lewis and Hetmyer set it up. It was not one of the easiest wickets to bat on. The balls were coming slow off the wicket. That's when you have to play smart cricket, manoeuvre the fielder,” he said.

In the field, Pollard was also happy with the West Indies, who restricted Afghanistan to just 134-9 after they were set 164 for victory.

“We were a bowler short but the boys stepped up,” he said.

Stepping up was Kesrick Williams, who ended with figures of 3-17, and Hayden Walsh Jr, who bagged 2-34.

But there are still areas the West Indies can tighten up, said Pollard who seems dead set on getting the side to be more aggressive.

“We have another game shortly, so we need to look at the areas to improve upon," said Pollard.

Before the start of the T20 series, the skipper had said he was already preparing the team to defend its T20 World Cup title.

“Winning is a habit, and anything that we want to do as a team is a process, and it's something we have to improve on over a period of time,” Pollard had said.

It was not long ago that Roston Chase was seen as one of a growing number of match-winning players in the West Indies ranks.

Since that time, however, Chase has suffered long dips in form and has not done much saving.

Chase, from 22 One Day Internationals averages 28.28 with the bat and has scored 396 runs but has scored just two half-centuries to date.

Against Afghanistan in a recently concluded One Day International in Lucknow, India where the visitors thumped the home team 3-0, he was immense.

Chase began with scoring 94 as the West Indies easily won the first ODI by seven wickets. Earlier he had bowled economically to end with figures of 2-31.

In the second ODI, Chase failed with the bat, only scoring nine as the West Indies only managed 247, but his 3-30 was instrumental in limiting the reply from Afghanistan to 200.

Chase was at it again on Monday,first bowling economically to end with figures of 1-24, before going on to bludgeon the bowlers, scoring 42 from just 32 deliveries to help seal the whitewash with a five-wicket victory.

Speaking after the game, Chase explained that skipper, Kieron Pollard, had reminded him to stay focused on the task ahead of him.

"Skipper told me last night we'll bat in a different position, but he said, 'Don't worry. Just concentrate on your bowling, and if you get a chance to bat, show that’.” Chase explained.

Pollard was referring to the fact that he would bat ahead of Chase in the final ODI for the first time in the series, and that he should not change what he was doing because of it.

“He [Pollard] said, 'Ros, just take over and play at a run-a-ball.' I did that, and put away the boundary balls,” Chase said of his innings.

As for his effectiveness with the ball, Chase says he has begun to understand how to change his pace to deal with different batsmen and, of course, different conditions.

“I was just trying to vary my pace, and the pitch was helping out a lot. Each game, our bowlers came to the party. This is my first series win in five years, and I'm quite happy for that."

West Indies opening batsman Shai Hope played no small part in getting the regional side their first series win in five years.

The batsman, who scored an unbeaten 77, 43, and 109 not-out, said the regional side were at pains to earn a series win and that achieving a whitewash a day after his birthday was special.

“It was a long time coming. We've been waiting for this series win for a long time, so it felt good,” said Hope.

For the series win and the eventual whitewash to come to reality, Hope explained he had to take the responsibility of batting the team into good positions.

“Someone had to put his hand up and bat through the innings,” he said.

“Felt good to be able to do it. It's just about reading the situation, and as long as someone batted through, we were always going to win the game," said Hope.

The West Indies completed a whitewash over Afghanistan with a five-wicket win in Lucknow, India.

Afghanistan, having the best game of the three-match series, scored 249-7 in their 50 overs thanks to Asghar Afghan’s 86 and Hazrafullah Zazai’s 50, Mohammad Nabi, 50, and Najibullah Zadran, 30, but found they were still outgunned after the West Indies cruised to 253-5 in 48.5 overs.

The West Indies total was anchored by Hope’s 145-ball knock. Hope reached the boundary eight times and went over it on a further three occasions and was ably supported by debutant Brandon King, who scored 39, Nicholas Pooran, 21, Kieron Pollard, 32, and Roston Chase, 42.

West Indies captain Kieron Pollard is of the belief that the regional side has venom in them and needed to show it against Afghanistan, something they achieved after a 3-0 whitewash in their One-Day International that concluded on Monday in Lucknow, India.

"We are thankful to God for giving us this opportunity,” said Pollard.

“We came here with a mission and specific roles for players, and all the players deserve credit,” he said.

“Winning is a habit, and anything that we want to do as a team is a process, and it's something we had to improve in a period of time,” said Pollard.

According to the new captain, the team took the chance to show how aggressive they could be and urged them to make that way of playing cricket, habitual.

“This was an opportunity for us to show we have that kind of venom inside us. We knew we had to rally as a team, and we proved we can bat 50 overs, and once we do that, we can win games,” he said.

The West Indies destroyed Afghanistan over a three-game ODI series, winning the first by seven wickets thanks to Shai Hope’s unbeaten 77 and Roston Chase’s 94 before claiming a series-winning 47-run victory, this time courtesy of Evin Lewis’ 54 and Nicholas Pooran’s match-saving 67.

In the final game, playing with Brandon King and Keemo Paul in the line-up, the West Indies restricted Afghanistan to 249-7 despite 50 from Hazratullah Zazai and 86 from Asghar Afghan. In reply the West Indies scored 253-5 with Chase scoring 42, King, 39, Pollard, 32, and Hope, an unbeaten 109.

Despite Hope’s knocks, Chase was named player of the series.

Sir Vivian Richards is in full support of the appointment of Kieron Pollard as white-ball captain of the West Indies, saying the veteran all-rounder brings more aggression to the role than the two men he replaced.

Pollard, who opened his account as ODI captain on Wednesday with an emphatic seven-wicket victory over Afghanistan in Lucknow, India, has had the eye of Richards for the last five years, ever since he won the CPL with the Barbados Tridents.

"I've always admired his captaincy,” said Richards, who has been one of those to have noted a tendency towards passiveness in previous West Indies sides.

Jason Holder, the West Indies Test captain and previous ODI captain, has been criticized for not being aggressive enough on occasion and going into defensive mode too quickly.

“I've always felt that when he played the first CPL T20 at home, he was the best captain,” said Richards.

“I think Barbados Tridents went on to win it [in 2014], and he was the best captain in my opinion, more proactive than the rest of the captains we would have seen,” said Richards.

 I think he's in a good place," he said.

Richards also believes Pollard will benefit from having more talent around him than did his predecessors, Holder and Carlos Brathwaite, former captain of the T20 side.

“There's enough good players around him that can help out as well,” said Richards, referring to newcomers like Brandon King and Hayden Walsh Jr.

Pollard's first course of action as ODI captain was to marshall his troops into dismissing Bangladesh for 194 in 45.2 overs, courtesy of Jason Holder, 2-21, Romario Shepherd, 2-32, Roston Chase 2-31, Sheldon Cottrell, 1-33, and Hayden Walsh Jr, 1-33, sharing the workload. The West Indies batters then made simple work of the total, getting to 197-3 three balls into the 47th over.

Roston Chase, 94, and Shai Hope, 77, were the major contributors to the innings.

Kieron Pollard lauded Roston Chase and Shai Hope after their efforts with the bat helped West Indies to a seven-wicket ODI win over Afghanistan in Lucknow. 

Chase made his highest score in the format with a fine 94 that included 11 boundaries, with Hope having laid the foundation for a successful chase with an unbeaten 77.

The pair's 163-run stand did most of the work as the Windies overhauled Afghanistan's 194 all out with 21 balls to spare, the hosts having collapsed from 126-2.

And Pollard was delighted to see Chase and Hope lead the way, helping to assuage some of the captain's concerns over his side's batting performances in the 50-over format.

"Losing early wickets and not batting 50 overs is something that has been haunting us for a long time," he said, while also reserving praise for bowlers Romario Shepherd (2-31) and Hayden Walsh (1-33)

"Two guys showed the way – Hope and Chase. Both of them are class batsmen, kudos to them for batting well and getting us a victory.

"We've been talking about how we want to play cricket. Express ourselves, who better than Jason Holder, who continues to prove he wants to be the number one in this format.

"Then Shepherd and Hayden Walsh were superb. We want to play every game with the same intensity."

The second match takes place at the same venue on Monday.

Windies skipper Kieron Pollard has insisted it will be important for the team to carefully plan its approach in what could be a tricky upcoming series against Afghanistan.

The Pollard-led regional squad will square off against the Rashid Khan-led Afghans in three One Day Internationals (ODI) and three T20 internationals.  Despite being ranked just above the hosts in the ICC ODI standings, the Afghans hold an advantage in recent results after winning three of the last six encounters.  The Asian team has often taken advantage of the Windies noted weakness against spin bowling, a fact not lost on the Windies skipper.

 "Rashid Khan is a world-class bowler. It was seen by all of us and all around the world. Again there is no secret about it. Nabi himself has been doing well, he is a classical off-spinner. Mujeeb has done well for himself," Pollard said ahead of the match.

"We as a team, we have to plan how we are going to structure our fifty overs of batting and then our fifty overs of bowling. Each and every one of us is a good player in his own right and must show what we have to offer," he added.

 The team will bowl off the series on Wednesday at the Bharat Ratna Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee International Cricket Stadium, in Lucknow.

Legendary West Indies batsman Sir Viv Richards believes newly appointed skipper Kieron Pollard was kept out of leadership roles because of politics.

The 32-year-old Pollard was recently appointed both captain of the One Day International and T20 squads, replacing Jason Holder and Carlos Brathwaite respectively.  While heartily agreeing with the move, Richards believes it was a long time in coming.

“I’ve always felt he should have been [appointed] a bit earlier,” Richards said in an interview with the Line And Length cricket podcast.

“I guess the politics with the last regime and the things that obviously went down in India, and some of these guys, in my opinion, were blacklisted from playing the role that they should and helping to move the team forward, and I think because of those political issues, it didn’t quite help the progress,” he added.

Pollard was part of a one-day squad that infamously walked out of the team’s tour of India in 2014.  A new Cricket West Indies governance body, led by Ricky Skerritt, deposed the Cameron-led administration earlier this year.  The change in the administration led to a number of adjustments, which included a new selection panel in addition to Pollard’s elevation to the leadership posts.

Newly appointed Windies skipper Kieron Pollard has promised to reject the idea of insularity, an accusation traditionally leveled at numerous regional team selection panels.

As captain of the One Day International and T20 teams, Pollard will assist a panel that has often been accused of favouring players from different regions of the Caribbean, based on its composition at the time.  Despite being an allegation that has never quite been proven, it has clearly caught the attention of the new skipper.

“One of the major things we (selectors) talked about is the insularity that has been going on in the Caribbean and it is something we want to [stamp out],” Pollard said in a recent interview.

“At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter where you’re from, which part of the islands you’re from, once your performance is there, once you fit into the dynamics of the team, [once] you fit into what we’re looking for, you’re going to be selected.

“[The fact] that sometimes you veer to where you’re from is unfortunate, maybe as a home captain or coach, but at the end of the day we will try to pick the best team.

“Me, knowing myself and how I go about things – and this is something I’ve been preaching since the franchise system started in the Caribbean T20 before the CPL – the bigger picture is the cricket and whichever persons are doing well, they’re going to be selected.”

Pollard replaced Jason Holder as ODI captain and Carlos Brathwaite as T20 captain.

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