World champs face India today


Fort Lauderdale, USA – Reigning ICC World T20 champs West Indies will come up against India today in the first match of the MyTeam11 Twenty20 International Series, co-sponsored by Skoda and Fena at the Central Broward Regional Park in Fort Lauderdale from 9.30am.
The Windies who lifted the title for the second time in 2016 in India, will be looking to continue their impressive run in America, where they have not lost a match in four attempts. Back in 2012 they played New Zealand in two T20 matches here and won both and in 2016, they entertained the Indians, winning the first match by a solitary run and with the second game falling to rain midway through.
The weather is again expected to be a factor today with forecasters predicting cloudy conditions with a couple of showers and a heavy thunderstorm.
Meanwhile, the Windies have had a forced change with dangerous all-rounder Andre Russell missing out due to injury. He is being replaced by Trinidadian Jason Mohammed, the experienced 32-year-old, has so far played nine T20 Internationals and also captained the West Indies in T20 Internationals and the 50-over format comes in after being overlooked for the upcoming CPL.
Russell was named in the original 14-member squad for the first and second matches T20s subject to him passing a fitness assessment before the series. The allrounder experienced some discomfort while at the GT20 tournament in Canada and informed the interim selection panel of his unavailability for the upcoming series.
“We welcome Jason Mohammed into the squad for the first two T20 matches here in Florida. He is a player with lots of experience in all three formats and – having done well for Trinidad & Tobago as well as Guyana Amazon Warriors,” said Floyd Reifer, West Indies interim head coach.
“It is not easy to fill the shoes of someone like Andre Russell, who has dominated T20 cricket all over the world and helped West Indies win the ICC T20 World Cup on two occasions. We believe Jason is capable of good performances and we back him to perform at this level and win games as well.”
The second game of the series will be played right here at the Broward County Stadium tomorrow with the final match taking place at the Guyana National Stadium next Tuesday.
India has some new faces in the squad, but there’s still an abundance of options who are most at home batting in the top three. Regular openers Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan are back together with Dhawan having recovered from his broken finger, and there’s skipper Virat Kohli at three. Besides, they have KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, and Manish Pandey. The wrist spinning duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav have been rested, which should give the team management the option to try several exciting options.
West Indies: John Campbell, Evin Lewis, Nicholas Pooran (wk),  Shimron Hetmyer, Kieron Pollard, Rovman Powell, Jason Mohammed, Carlos Brathwaite (capt), Sunil Narine, Khary Pierre, Sheldon Cottrell, Keemo Paul, Oshane Thomas.
India: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (capt), KL Rahul, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk),  Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Rahul Chahar.

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