T20I series preview: Windies v Zimbabwe

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The World Twenty20 champions will host the ICC T20I rankings' bottomfeeders for back-to-back fixtures this weekend, with the possibility of revenge contrasting the need for defiance.

The World Twenty20 champions will host the ICC T20I rankings' bottomfeeders for back-to-back fixtures this weekend, with the possibility of revenge contrasting the need for defiance.

The teams have only met once in the shortest format of the international game, in 2010, when Zimbabwe upstaged their hosts in St Lucia. The Windies have come a long way since, while their opposition have arguably lost ground on their promise of yesteryear.

The Windies have again opted to rest Chris Gayle, while Darren Sammy has returned, and Zimbabwe – far away from home – are stuck with the same squad that crashed to a three-nil series whitewash in the ODI series.

Christopher Barnwell, back after a 17-month hiatus, will be eager to prove himself – and perhaps cement himself into the West Indians' plans for their WT20 defence in Bangladesh.

Zimbabwe, meanwhile, sport a host of youngsters in Tino Mutombodzi, Natsai M'shangwe and the like determined to justify their selection, particularly in the absence of the veteran Ray Price.

While a couple of token T20Is isn't ideal preparation for the more important business of Test match cricket, both sides have individual gains to chase. This, surely, won't be a dull affair.

<b>Key Men</b><br>Explosive in the ODIs and again the hosts' number one gun at the top of the order in the absence of Gayle, opportunity knocks for <b>Johnson Charles</b> to truly announce his arrival.

<b>Brendan Taylor</b>, as ever, will demand plenty of himself. Zimbabwe certainly need a couple of big performances from their skipper, who will shoulder the additional responsibility of keeping wicket too.

<b>Last Head-To-Head Result</b><br>2010: Only T20I: Zimbabwe beat West Indies by 26 runs in Port of Spain

<b>Prediction</b><br>Online betting firm <a href='http://www.skybet.com/cricket' target='_blank' class='instorylink'>Sky Bet</a> have the West Indies at 2/7 and Zimbabwe at 16/1 in the odds to win the series. Visit Sky Bet for the latest <a href='http://www.skybet.com/cricket' target='_blank' class='instorylink'>cricket betting</a>.

More <a href='http://about:blank' target='_blank' class='instorylink'><b>cricket bets</b></a> here.

<b>Squads</b><br><i>West Indies:</i> Darren Sammy (captain), Samuel Badree, Christopher Barnwell, Tino Best, Darren Bravo, Dwayne Bravo, Johnson Charles, Shannon Gabriel, Sunil Narine, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin, Andre Russell, Lendl Simmons.

<i>Zimbabwe:</i> Brendan Taylor (captain), Hamilton Masakadza, Vusi Sibanda, Tino Mawoyo, Kyle Jarvis, Tendai Chatara, Chris Mpofu, Prosper Utseya, Regis Chakabva, Malcolm Waller, Keegan Meth, Craig Ervine, Chamu Chibhabha, Tino Mutombodzi, Natsai M'shangwe.

<b>Fixtures</b><br>First T20I: 2 March, North Sound<br>Second T20I: 3 March, North Sound

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