1st T20: Five debutants as India bowl against West Indies
Krunal Pandya and Khaleel Ahmed

India handed T20 debuts to fast bowler Khaleel Ahmed and allrounder Krunal Pandya as they chose to bowl against West Indies in the 1st T20I at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata. Krunal and Khaleel were included in India’s 12-member team announced yesterday and were handed their caps prior to the toss. Yuzvendra Chahal misses out and so does Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has a gastric complaint.

West Indies too have included three debutants in Oshane Thomas, Fabian Allen and Kharry Pierre. Thomas and Allen played the ODI series that lost to India earlier last week.

Krunal was included in India’s squad for the three T20s against England earlier this year but never got to play the game. His selection was waiting to happen since the Baroda allrounder delivered Man-of-the-Match performances in the last IPL season’s semi-final and final as Mumbai Indians surged to the title.

In this year’s IPL, after Mumbai Indians bought him back for Rs 8.8 crore – the most for an uncapped player at the auction – Krunal scored 228 runs at a strike-rate of 145.22 and claimed 12 wickets while conceding runs at 7.07 per over.

This earned him selection for India A’s tour of England, where he contributed three wickets at an economy rate of 5.44 and 37 runs in two innings to the team’s tri-series victory before being called up to India’s T20I team. During the quadrangular one-day series in August, Krunal made 96 runs in four innings for India A to go with four wickets at an excellent economy rate of 4.80.

Khaleel made his India debut during the Asia Cup in September where he picked up four wickets from two matches. He also made a mark during the five-match ODI series against West Indies taking seven wickets from four matches.

TEAMS

India (Playing XI): Rohit Sharma(c), Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Rishabh Pant(w), Manish Pandey, Dinesh Karthik, Krunal Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah, K Khaleel Ahmed, Umesh Yadav

West Indies (Playing XI): Rovman Powell, Darren Bravo, Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer, Denesh Ramdin(w), Kieron Pollard, Carlos Brathwaite(c), Keemo Paul, Fabian Allen, Khary Pierre, Oshane Thomas