West Indies skipper Nicholas Pooran won the toss and opted to bowl first against India in the 1st T20I at Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba, Trinidad, on Friday. Shimron Hetmyer is back into the WI squad while Alzarri Joseph is making his debut.

“Going to bowl first. Maybe there’s something in the pitch. Nice to know what you’re chasing. Looking forward to this series. We enjoy the format. We like to entertain. One spinner. Alzarri Joseph making his debut. Shimron Hetmyer back into the team,” Pooran said after winning the toss.

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Sanju Samson may have replaced the COVID-struck KL Rahul in the squad for the five-match T20I series but he did not make it to the first game’s playing 11. 

“Ready to go. Good to have some time off. Pretty excited to get back and get things underway. First international game being played here, good to see the fans coming in large numbers. Facility looks good. Will have to look at how the wicket plays. Few guys have left, few have come back. Quite excited to get underway,” Rohit Sharma said.

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With less than three months left for the T20 World Cup, Rohit Sharma and coach Rahul Dravid will get around 16 games (5 vs WI, 5 in Asia Cup (if India play final), 3 vs Australia, 3 vs South Africa) to firm up their core team that will then play unchanged going into mega event.

West Indies (Playing XI): Shamarh Brooks, Shimron Hetmyer, Rovman Powell, Nicholas Pooran(w/c), Kyle Mayers, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Odean Smith, Alzarri Joseph, Obed McCoy, Keemo Paul

India (Playing XI): Rohit Sharma(c), Rishabh Pant(w), Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravi Bishnoi, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ravichandran Ashwin, Arshdeep Singh