Ahead of the first T20I against India in Kolkata, West Indies skipper Carlos Brathwaite has termed the hosts as favourites for the three-match series. Brathwaite’s remark came as a surprise given that the Windies have an upper hand over India in the shortest format.
While West Indies lead India 5-2 in the overall head-to-head record, the Men in Blue haven’t won a T20I against the Caribbean side in their last four matches that also includes a World T20 semi-final loss in 2016.
“We don’t think so. 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,” Brathwaite told reporters on the eve of the T20I series opener.
“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.
After a drubbing in Tests, West Indies put up an improved performance in the ODIs before losing the series 1-3. Brathwaite too hopes to surprise India.
“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 remarked.
The Windies captain also went on to say that India will surely miss Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni in the T20I series.
“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,” Carlos Brathwaite concluded.
(With PTI inputs)