Ishan could lead runs charge

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India v West Indies
Wednesday 16 February, 14:00
TV: live on Sky Sports

Kohli clog

India were comfortable in the ODI series. Things might be trickier in the T20, particularly as they have Virat Kohli’s poor style in the format to slow them down.

Kohli plays, there is no doubt about that, so that means one from Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan and Sky Yadav has to miss out. KL Rahul has a hamstring injury.

Otherwise they are still struggling for a power balance because of the absence of all-rounders Ravi Jadeja and Hardik pPndya. Shardul Thakur is close to filling the shoes of one of them, though. Ravi Bishnoi will fancy his chances of spinning a mysterious web and catching out the Windies batters.

Probable XI: Rohit, Ishan, Kohli, Yadav, Pant, Venkatesh, Thakur, Kumar, Harshal Patel, Bishnoi Deepak Chahar

Windies power

West Indies turned out not to be competitive in the ODI. If a 3-2 series win over England is anything to go by they should improve.

We do still worry about spin, however. Had Moeen Ali clocked that weakness England would have won that series.

The Windies remain revolutionary. They are close to packing the middle- and lower-order with extreme power. And why not when your specialist bat options include only Darren Bravo and Roston Chase?

So strong are they lower down that it looks as though Fabian Allen and Romario Shepherd could miss out in the first game.

Possible XI: Mayers, King, Pooran, Powell, Pollard, Holder, Smith, Hosein, Drakes, Walsh, Cottrell.

Pitch report

The average score batting first at Eden Gardens is 170 in the last five years. That suggests we have a runfest on our hands and given the bowling attacks on show, that would seem to fit, too. Going over the runs par line early 170s is an option.

Ordinarily it’s one for the chaser. KKR have earned play-off spots off the back of batting second there. Still, the bias stands at only 55% which is surprisingly low.

If India chase, then win. They’re unbeatable at Eden gardens chasing and have won 14 of their last 15 in all conditions batting second.

Keep hitters on side

The toss is obviously key, then. That means we play a waiting game on the match odds. But we’re poised to get with West Indies hitting power from 3.55

If they bat second, we’re could be looking at 4.03/1 or better at the break. The long batting line-up keeps them in the hunt. If they bat first, factor in a late charge on the runs. We’re talking IPL-style 40 or 50 off the last three.

Tops value

Plenty to work with on the side markets, although they’re all of a maroon hue. West Indies value is all over the shop.

Kieron Pollard is an obvious like for top West Indies bat because his win rate is insanely good. Sportsbook go 5/1. Akeal Hosein and Dominic Drakes are eye-catchers at 35/1 and 90/1 respectively.

For India, Rohit Sharma is 13/5 jolly for top bat. Kohli is a poor price at 11/4. The talented, destructive – but infuriating – Ishan looks chunky at 4s purely because we think he’ll open. Bet the markets here