KOLKATA, November 3: The ‘end of Dhoni era’ notion has been dismissed unequivocally but then India, for the first time, will still be without the figure with a monumental body of work when they face West Indies in the opening T20 International Sunday.
Less than a week after two-time World Cup-winning skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni was left out of India’s T20I squad, captain Virat Kohli has said he remains an integral part of India’s plans.
Chief selector MSK Prasad also said that it was not the end of the road for Dhoni in T20Is.
With Kohli rested for the three matches, Rohit Sharma will lead the side against the reigning T20 champions.
Under Jason Holder, West Indies were mauled 0-2 in the Test series in six days’ of action. In the following five-match ODI series, they posed some challenge before being thrashed 1-3 with a nine-wicket loss in Thiruvananthapuram in the final one-dayer.
But it will not be an easy task for India against the Carlos Brathwaite-led team as the two-month long series begin its final leg, giving the visitors a chance to regain some pride.
Brathwaite will be back at the same venue where he hit four consecutive sixes off Ben Stokes to break the hearts of English fans by winning their second World Twenty20 title in 2016.
The Windies, who missed the big names in the Test and ODI series, will be bolstered by the arrival of star players Darren Bravo, Kieron Pollard and Andre Russell, who will be back at his IPL home venue.
The stats also favour the World T20 holders who have a five-two record from eight exchanges from 2009-17. (PTI)