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India vs West Indies: Carlos Brathwaite terms hosts ‘favourites’ ahead of first T20I


West Indies T20I skipper Carlos Brathwaite stated that India would start as the favourites in the three-match series starting at the Eden Gardens on Sunday.

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But Brathwaite’s judgement before the match doesn’t speak along the lines of statistics, which pip the visitors to be holding the upper hand against the Men in Blue.

India have failed to beat the West Indies in their last four T20Is which also includes a heartbreaking loss in the semi-finals of the World T20 in 2016.

Overall, the Windies lead India 5-2 in T20Is.

“We don’t think so (on being labelled as the favourites). India at home in any format (are) very formidable. Especially with the advent of IPL and the amount of T20 cricket that the Indian superstars play, I think they definitely start as favourites,” said Brathwaite, as quoted by The Indian Express, ahead of the match.

“We are not accustomed to the underdog tag but we are going to take it this time around. But it’s not something that we are ashamed of really,” he added.

The West Indies sprung a surprise in the ODI series wherein they put up a much-improved performance that their dismal Test show where they lost the series 2-0. Brathwaite too hopes that his side would follow the same line and try and put up a challenge in front of the Indians.

Also read: India vs West Indies: Hosts cruise to an easy victory to win series 3-1

“We have a new team, young exciting team and our CPL stars are young and are raring to go. Some of them had a taste of it in the ODIs and I personally think we did a lot better than what a lot of people expected in the ODI format. We want to create an even bigger surprise in the T20s and come away with the trophy at the end of the series,” he said.

It would indeed take India some doing if they have to upstage the Windies in T20Is without the services of both MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli.

The West Indies skipper stated that the absence of both these stars brings down the quality of the Indian side but at the same time made it clear that they wouldn’t take the hosts lightly.

“Any team has a better chance if they don’t play. They have loads of experience and quality. So Virat and Dhoni missing diminishes the quality.

“But that being said, there is still loads of quality in the Indian side. We won’t be disrespecting them or take them lightly just because they are missing those two. Any team would miss Virat and Dhoni,” he added.

Brathwaite would have some fond memories at the Eden Gardens where he tonked Ben Stokes for four huge sixes to give West Indies their second title in World T20 history.

“I guess it was a personal milestone (2016 World Cup win, four sixes) it was a good night for myself and for West Indies cricket. But that’s history. We now have a very exciting squad and it is for us to find a best way to get the best from each and every player,” the hard-hitting all-rounder added.

Image credit- Livemint

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