Pooran takes the gloves ahead of Pant while Hetmyer is helped by a lack of competition in the middle-order.
West Indies make the trip down to India for a limited-overs series comprising of three T20Is and three ODIs. This is the second time the teams will be facing each other in a bilateral this year, with India having travelled to the Caribbean right after the World Cup ended earlier this year.
The teams will complete the T20 series first and India clearly have the upper hand, having whitewashed the Windies 3-0 in the T20Is last time out. However, West Indies are no slouches themselves- they have won the T20 World Cup twice, the only team to do so, and have exciting young talent in their squad.
Having said that, let us have a look at which players are good enough from both teams to form a combined T20 XI: (Note: The XI comprises of players only part of the squad announced for the upcoming T20 series)
🚨BREAKING🚨: WEST INDIES ANNOUNCE ODI & T20I SQUADS AHEAD OF INDIA TOUR NEXT MONTH pic.twitter.com/4dti4LdAOD
— Windies Cricket (@windiescricket) November 28, 2019
Top order: KL Rahul/Rohit Sharma/Virat Kohli (c)
The top three is an all-Indian list and there would hardly be any debate about this. Rohit Sharma has had the time of his life in 2o19, scoring five centuries at the World Cup before revelling in his new role as Test opener against South Africa. Virat Kohli, on the other hand, is simply class-apart and is arguably the best all-format batsman in the world currently.
KL Rahul boasts of a great record in T20s, and at the moment is the better opener in the shortest format instead of Shikhar Dhawan, who is out injured for the series anyway. He is also in a great form in domestic limited-overs tournaments and should open alongside Rohit in the upcoming T20 World Cup in 2020.
Middle-order: Shreyas Iyer/Shimron Hetmyer/Nicholas Pooran (wk)/Kieron Pollard
Shreyas Iyer did more than enough in the recently-concluded Bangladesh T20s to make the no.4 spot his own in the Indian limited-overs set-up and he retains that same position in the combined XI.
Shimron Hetmyer makes it to the team on the basis of his sheer talent and unpredictability, and he is also helped by the fact that other middle-order options from India like Manish Pandey have not really done much of note in the opportunities they have got.
Nicholas Pooran, appointed vice-captain for the T20s, takes the gloves ahead of Rishabh Pant, who despite multiple chances, has not been all that impressive in the shorter formats. Kieron Pollard takes the all-rounder’s slot ahead of Shivam Dube simply because of his vast experience and proven capabilities in the international stage.
Bowlers: Jason Holder/Deepak Chahar/Yuzvendra Chahal/Sheldon Cottrell
Former Windies captain, Jason Holder comes in quite late at no.8 in the XI, considering he can hit the ball a long way and is quite an underrated T20 bowler. Deepak Chahar is an obvious choice in a T20 XI, with his recent exploits more than proving his case.
Yuzvendra Chahal and Sheldon Cottrell bring up the tail. Chahal is the lone spinner and while a case can be made for Kuldeep Yadav, he has been out of the limited-overs set-up since the World Cup and is making a comeback from injury anyhow.
Cottrell enjoyed a decent World Cup outing and his ability to hit the deck hard can prove to be useful though he will need to be mindful of his lengths.
Feature Image courtesy: AFP / Randy Brooks