West Indies' next assignment will be the limited-overs series (3 T20Is and 3 ODIs) against a strong Virat Kohli-led Team India. The reigning World T20 champions will face the hosts at Hyderabad on December 6th in the series opener before moving to Thiruvananthapuram (December 8th) and Mumbai (December 11th) for the remaining fixtures. The visitors who suffered a shock 1-2 series defeat in the T20I series against Afghanistan last month, have surprisingly dropped Alzarri Joseph and Shai Hope for the T20Is. The duo, however, have made it to the squads for the ODI series.
Despite the West Indies squad looking strong in all departments with a perfect mix of experienced and young players, the series defeat against Afghanistan has certainly raised questions ahead of the 2020 T20 World Cup. This series might be an opportunity for the players to make a mark and cement their places for the T20 WC.
It's no surprise that the entire IPL adores Caribbean players and with the 2020 IPL Auction fast approaching, this series might be an ideal platform for their players to earn IPL contracts. Players like Sheldon Cottrell, Brandon King and Hayden Walsh Jr. have already proved themselves to earn lucrative contracts, courtesy their exploits in 2019 Cricket World Cup and Caribbean Premier League respectively. But there are a few players who could earn IPL contracts based on their performances in this series.
Let us now look at three talented players who could use this series to earn IPL contracts this time.
#3 Khary Pierre
Khary Pierre was instrumental in Trinbago Knight Riders' title win last year, producing a Man-of-the-Match winning performance in 2018 CPL final by finishing with the figures of 3/29 against Guyana Amazon Warriors. The 28-year-old slow left-arm orthodox spinner emerged as his side's second-highest wicket-taker in CPL 2019 with 10 wickets.
When it comes to powerplay bowling, Pierre has established himself as one of Trinbago's go-to bowlers, particularly in the last two editions where he has recorded an exceptional economy of 6.14 during 21 powerplay overs while bagging six wickets. A good performance against Kohli's men might fetch Pierre his first IPL contract.
#2 Fabian Allen
A batting all-rounder, Fabian Allen is a hard-hitter of the ball who can always be trusted with his useful slow-left-arm bowling. The 24-year-old emerged as St. Kitts and Nevis Patriots' third-highest run-getter in 2019 CPL with 218 runs at a strike-rate of 177.23 with his highest score being 62*. Despite making the West Indies' World Cup 2019 squad, Fabian played just three games, scoring just 51 runs and a solitary wicket.
His strike-rate of 165.70 in T20s clearly indicates his big-hitting abilities and he will surely be one of the players to watch out for during the three-match T20I series against the Men in Blue. A lucrative IPL contract might be on his way if the all-rounder continues playing his natural game with the bat against a quality Indian bowling attack in their own backyard. Also, the fact that he is capable of bowling useful augurs well for him to make it big.
#1 Kesrick Williams
After emerging as the highest wicket-taker for St. Lucia Zouks in 2019 Caribbean Premier League with 12 wickets, Kesrick Williams finished the three-match T20I series against Afghanistan as the highest wicket-taker with eight dismissals. The 29-year-old pacer who made his T20I debut back in 2016 against Pakistan is known for his fiery spells and perfect variations which make him an ideal death bowler. Williams, who has 105 T20 wickets to his name, has also played in Bangladesh Premier League (Rajshahi Kings) and Global T20 Canada (Toronto Nationals).
Given his international experience and current form, the Caribbean pacer could earn a lucrative IPL contract this time if he could replicate his white-ball success against Team India in the upcoming series. With teams like Chennai Super Kings and Royal Challengers Bangalore looking for quality overseas seamers who can bowl at the death, Williams might be the perfect fit. We could expect huge bids for him if he continues his good run and dominates Indian batsmen with his pace.