After winning the T20I series 2-1, the Men-In-Blue will now focus on the ODI format with the first contest scheduled for Chennai.
India, after having registered a 2-1 series win in three-match T20 International series, will now look to extend their dominance in the three-match ODI series when they face the West-Indies in the first match at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai on Sunday. Virat Kohli, who led India to the T20I series win, now will look to resolve the bowling and fielding woes when the team takes up the challenge at Chepauk stadium.
The Men-In-Blue have suffered a major setback before the series as they will miss the services of key players Bhuvneshwar Kumar & Shikhar Dhawan. Dhawan picked up a deep cut on his left knee while diving on the field during Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy earlier this month, while the latest injury of Bhuvi would be yet another blow for team management. Mayank Agarwal and Shardul Thakur have been recalled as replacement of both the injured players. KL Rahul also makes a comeback in ODI format after the stupendous run in the T20I series.
With glorious run in Vijay Hazare trophy, Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy & recently concluded T20 series, Rahul will rightfully take his place at the top of the order alongside Rohit Sharma. Among others captain Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer and Kedar Jadhav look certainly in the middle order. Rishabh Pant once again became a subject of intense scrutiny after he departed for 0 in the series decider. The 21-year-old wicket-keeper’s form appears to be a genuine concern for Indian cricket fans now. He will have to show more responsibility on his batting & wicket-keeping skills as the selectors and team management still back him ahead of Sanju Samson and Dinesh Karthik. Experienced speedster Mohammed Shami returned to the ODI set up while left-arm unorthodox spinner Kuldeep Yadav also made a comeback in the decider T20I at Wankhede. Spin twins Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal will look to torment the West-Indies, who looked suspect against wrist spin in the T20i series. Top-ranked injured ODI pacers, Jasprit Bumrah & Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s absence will continue to hurt the hosts.
For the visitors, who will be looking to recover their pride in the ODI format, the injured batsman Evin Lewis is a major setback. The left handed destructive opener’s crucial knock (40 off 35 balls) helped the West Indies beat India by eight wickets in the 2nd T20i to level the three-match series 1-1. In the absence of Lewis, Sunil Ambris will have a great opportunity to cement his place as an opener with his partner Shai Hope. With Kieron Pollard at the helm as a new ODI captain and the addition of players like Roston Chase, Alzarri Joseph,Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Sheldon Cottrell and Hayden Walsh Junior to the mix, the visitors will hope their batsmen and bowlers can put up an all-round performance to surprise the formidable Indian team.
India have won all of their 9 previous bilateral series against the West-Indies, while the visitors have won a ODI series against Afghanistan recently which was their first bilateral ODI series win since 2014.
India – Virat Kohli (c),Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Kedar Jadhav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Mohammed Shami.
West-Indies – Sunil Ambris, Shai Hope(W), Kieron Pollard (c), Jason Holder, , Sheldon Cottrell, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran, Roston Chase, Alzarri Joseph, Hayden Walsh Jr.
Players to watch out for
Shreyas Iyer (IND)-
Shreyas Iyer has established himself as a dependable middle-order batsman in the last six months by showing that he can take both aggressor and accumulator roles whenever the situation demands. Iyer has been declared as a solution to India’s long standing issue of the No4. In the very first series after the ODI World Cup, Iyer, with his vital knocks of 71 off 68 balls and 65 off 41 balls in Port of Spain at number five, showed his spirit. The southpaw didn’t get enough opportunities to bat in the T20i series and Indian management would hope that he will continue to establish his credentials as the number four in ODI format.
Hayden Walsh Junior (WI)– The US-born leg-spinner shot into limelight courtesy his stupendous performances in the CPL where he claimed 22 wickets at an average of 12.68. He continued to impress in the recently concluded T20 series as well by taking some crucial wickets. The West-Indies will hope that Walsh further goes from strength to strength and fill that long-standing void of a leg-spinner in their limited overs set-up.
West-Indies – Sunil Ambris, Shai Hope, Khary Pierre, Rostan Chase, Alzarri Joseph, Kieron Pollard (C), Sheldon Cottrell, Brandon King, Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Romario Shepherd, Jason Holder, Keemo Paul, Hayden Walsh Jr.
India – Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wk), Shivam Dube, Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Deepak Chahar, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur