Preview - WI vs IND - 1st ODI.

The last time India toured West Indies for a bilateral ODI series was in 2011. Subramaniam Badrinath, Yusuf Pathan, Praveen Kumar and Munaf Patel were a part of the Indian squad in that series. Talking about the hosts, among the current team, only Devendra Bishoo was a part of the squad that faced India in 2011. Both the teams have faced each other 116 times in ODIs, with West Indies winning 60 matches and India 53.
Out of the 28 matches that both of these teams have played in the past 10 years, 18 have been won by India and seven by West Indies. The numbers throw light on West Indies' domination in the past and their lacklustre performance in the recent times.
In what will be India's first series post the ICC Champions Trophy 2017, the management would be eager to try the two fresh faces, which have been named in the ODI squad. Having not been a part of the Champions Trophy, West Indies would want to resurrect their campaign at the highest level. They had hosted Afghanistan for a draw (1-1) earlier this month.
On paper, West Indies stands far away than where India is. The total runs scored by all the players of this West Indies squad are 3630. India's highest run-scorer among this set of players, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, has alone scored more than 2.5 times (9342) of these runs. On the bowling front, all the West Indian bowlers have picked up a combined total of 145 wickets whereas India's Ravindra Jadeja alone has 155 scalps to his name.
Amongst the current players from both the teams, Virat Kohli has scored the maximum number of runs when both the teams have played ODI cricket. The Indian captain has scored 1143 runs in 22 matches against West Indies at an average of 57.15 and a strike rate of 92.10. He has also registered three centuries and eight half-centuries. In the bowling division, Ravindra Jadeja has picked up 29 wickets in 17 matches at an average of 25.13 and an economy rate of 4.81. His career-best ODI figures of 5-36 also came against West Indies. With 10 catches in 14 matches, Shikhar Dhawan leads the list of most catches.

West Indies have a huge task lying in front of them.
The playing eleven for West Indies is likely to remain the same that played in the second ODI against Afghanistan. In Jonathan Carter, Jason Mohammed and Roston Chase, they have a solid middle order. These batsmen might not have the numbers at this stage of their respective careers but they certainly have the potential to create those numbers. Chase had an exceptional start to his international career last year when he scored 190 runs in four test matches with a best of 137* against India and also clinched eight wickets with a best of 5/121. His ODI returns of nine runs and a wicket in three matches might not have emulated his start in the test cricket but the 25-year old all-rounder has it in him to change the course of the game on his own. Miguel Cummins would be the first choice to replace Shannon Gabriel. West Indies might also consider including Bishoo over Nurse for they already have a finger spinner in Chase.
Rohit Sharma's absence will provide yet another opportunity to Ajinkya Rahane at the top of the order in ODIs. In the five matches that he has played against West Indies, his bat has yielded 118 runs at an average of 23.60 and a strike rate of 71.95. Both lower than his career average and strike rate of 32.42 and 78.85 respectively. As far as scoring runs are considered, Rahane would be looking to make a mark in this series.
A lot of emphasis would also be on India's middle order. There is no doubt regarding the credentials of Yuvraj Singh or MS Dhoni, it's just that they have not been tested enough of late. In Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya, India have two batsmen who can hit the long ball down the order. Pandya's 43-ball 76 in the final of the Champions Trophy against Pakistan was a testament to it. Dinesh Karthik is likely to be given a go in this series. Who will he replace would be interesting to see.
Umesh Yadav is the likeliest to share the new ball with Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah. However, Mohammad Shami is also expected to be given a fair amount of chances in this series. Ravichandran Ashwin and Jadeja will continue to be the first choice spinners for India.
India have picked two very enthralling prospects for this series - Rishabh Pant and Kuldeep Yadav. Whether they will a chance, or if they do, then how many remains the big question.

Expected Playing Eleven

West Indies: 1) Evin Lewis 2) Kieran Powell 3) Shai Hope (wk) 4) Jonathan Carter 5) Jason Mohammed 6) Roston Chase 7) Rovman Powell 8) Jason Holder (c) 9) Ashley Nurse 10) Alzarri Joseph 11) Miguel Cummins

India: 1) Shikhar Dhawan 2) Ajinkya Rahane 3) Virat Kohli (c) 4) Yuvraj Singh 5) MS Dhoni (wk) 6) Kedar Jadhav 7) Hardik Pandya 8) Ravindra Jadeja 9) Ravichandran Ashwin 10) Bhuvneshwar Kumar 11) Umesh Yadav

Photo Credits - ESPN cricinfo.


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