West Indies vs. Sri Lanka 2021
1st T20I – Thu, 4th March
Strong West Indies:
West Indies are back in the T20I clash after a heart-breaking series loss against New Zealand. They will be eyeing to come back to winning ways as they resurrect their formulations for the ICC T20 World Cup, which will take a position in India later this year. While Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard will add some much-required stability to the team, Chris Gayle’s arrival enhances the Windies’ already-robust batting roster. Also, Fidel Edwards’ presence will only increase their prospects of winning the first T20I.
Possible playing XI: Andre Fletcher, Evin Lewis, Rovman Powell, Nicholas Pooran (WK), Kieron Pollard (C), Jason Holder, Dwayne Bravo, Chris Gayle, Fabian Allen, Obed McCoy, and Akeal Hosein.
Inexperienced Sri Lanka:
Sri Lanka is no easy target by any means. Though the Asian country lacks some key players, they are nonetheless a force to be regarded within the T20 format. With the likes of Thisara Perera and Wanindu Hasaranga holding the fort, the Sri Lankans would pose an intense contest. They are slightly an amateurish roster. Captain Angelo Matthews will be the vital cog.
Possible playing XI: Danushka Gunathilaka, Oshada Fernando, Angelo Mathews (C), Dushmantha Chameera, Thisara Perera, Niroshan Dickwella, Wanindu Hasaranga, Dinesh Chandimal (WK), Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, and Lakshan Sandakan/Akila Dhananjaya.
The venue, Pitch Report, and Toss Prediction:
The first T20I game between Sri Lanka and West Indies will be played at the Coolidge Cricket Ground in Antigua on 4th March Thursday.
The Coolidge Cricket Ground supports both the bowlers and the batsmen. While the speedsters should progress off the wicket, the spin bowlers will be vital in the middle overs. Both sides will look to bat first upon winning the toss, with 165-175 being a standard score at the venue. Runs on the board will help to put pressure on the chasing team at this ground.
Big Numbers to See:
While Sri Lanka is the small fry ahead of the match and the series, they have a young-looking squad skilled at defeating the Windies. But competing in home conditions prompts the scales in West Indies’ favour.
Thus, as the favourites, the West Indies enter this game at the odds of 1.37 while the visitors are 2.90. The West Indies’ concrete mix of experience makes them healthy and exciting. Whereas it has been over a year, Sri Lanka played their last T20 game, making them vulnerable for this match. Veteran Angelo Mathews is inclined to hold in for him in this opening match, but if not, they have a strong side at their clearance with big-hitting all-rounder Thisara Perera.