The West Indies seek to take advantage of the missing pillars of India


West Indies and India begin the three-game One-Day International (ODI) series with the first game to be played on Friday at Queen’s Park Oval in Port of Spain, Trinidad. Both teams head into the competition with contrasting makeshift sets in their previous ODI series. While India in England beat the reigning world champions, West Indies suffered a home loss to Bangladesh.

West Indies are keen to start the series as they seek to win their first bilateral ODI series against India since 2006. The hosts would be relieved that many of India’s top picks like Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah do not play the series.

Ravindra Jadeja, who was announced as Shikhar Dhawan’s assistant for the series, is also unlikely to start the first game as he has a minor injury and KL Rahul is down with COVID-19.

“Right now he (Jadeja) has a little problem so we don’t know if he will be ready for the first ODI or not,” Dhawan said during the pre-match briefing.

For India, in the absence of senior pros, players who have been on the sidelines in ODIs would like to leave their mark. Beware of Ruturaj Gaikwad, Deepak Hooda, Sanju Samson, Ishan Kishan, Shubman Gill and Arshdeep Singh.

West Indies, for their part, would like to shake off their habit of treating 50+ cricket as T20s and at least beat the full 50 over quota to stay relevant in the contest.

“We have to beat 50 overs and we have to set up innings and partnerships. Someone always has to be looking to score a hundred to keep the team together. I think we have batsmen who can beat and beat for long periods.” said head coach Phil Simmons.

To bring balance and experience to the squad, West Indies recalled former captain Jason Holder. The versatile was not part of the West Indies squad that played against Bangladesh. Holder’s experience as captain should also help skipper Nicholas Pooran who is in the early days of his captaincy.

Other key players for West Indies will be Shai Hope, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph and Rovman Powell.

Guide to the form:

West Indies: LLLLL

India: WLWWW

Possible XIs:

Possible India XI: Shikhar Dhawan (c), Ishan Kishan (wk), Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Axar Patel, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Siraj, Prasidh Krishna, Avesh Khan.

Possible West Indies XI: Nicholas Pooran (c), Shai Hope (wk), Shamarh Brooks, Keacy Carty, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Gudakesh Motie, Keemo Paul, Rovman Powell, Jayden Seales.

Players to watch

Shikhar Dhawan:

While Rohit Sharma rested for the ODI series, senior fly-half Shikhar Dhawan was named captain of the Indian team. The 36-year-old is the team’s oldest batsman and should give India a strong start at the top of the order. Dhawan, who now only features in India’s ODI squads, had a poor run against England with scores of 1, 9 and 31 in his three outings.

Shai Hope

The West Indies seek to take advantage of the missing pillars of India

Shai Hope is the vice-captain of the ODI team. The wicket-beater keeper is the only West Indian to be ranked in the Top 20 of the ICC Men’s ODI Batting Rankings. Hope, who sits 13th, had a disappointing ODI run against Bangladesh – he could only manage scores of 0, 18 and 2. But Hope’s recent scores might not mean much against India. The 28-year-old enjoys playing against India. Hope scored 733 runs against the visitors in 19 innings and averaged 45.81. This includes four fifty and two hundred. Indian bowlers will have to beware of Hope

Location and conditions

Expect a good hard hitting pitch for the series opener.

There are chances of rain before and during the game. It had rained at Queen’s Park Oval before the series opened, which forced the Indian cricket team to practice indoors.

where to watch:

The match starts at 7:00 PM IST and it will be streamed live on the FanCode app.

(Edited by : Abhishek Jha)

First post: STI


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