This is not an ODI World Cup year. The series between West Indies and India is not part of the World Cup Super League. Both teams finished their previous 50-over assignments less than a week ago.
So what can one expect during these three ODIs?
After clinching both white-ball series in England, India have rested Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, while KL Rahul is on the recovery path after a hernia surgery. That means some of their back-up players – under stand-in captain Shikhar Dhawan – will get a full series than just a one-off game here and there.
West Indies, on the other hand, are on a six-match losing streak in the format, and have one of the worst win-loss ratios in ODI cricket this year. To put things back on track, their captain Nicholas Pooran and coach Phil Simmons have asked their players to make sure they bat out full 50 overs, something they have struggled with of late. Since January 2021, West Indies have batted first 12 times in ODI cricket; on nine occasions, they failed to last their full allocation of overs.
In good news for the hosts, Jason Holder is back after having been rested for the Bangladesh series. His presence will lend the side the much-needed experience not just in the bowling department but also in the lower middle order.
Shikhar Dhawan might be the stand-in captain for the series but his recent form with the bat hasn’t been great. In his last five ODIs, Dhawan has made 112 runs at an average of 28 and a strike rate of 61.53. It has been 20 innings since he last made a hundred in the format. In the absence of experienced players, India will want Dhawan to find his form back.
Keemo Paul didn’t bowl in the final ODI against Bangladesh after sustaining a hamstring injury. While Phill Simmons is happy with his recovery, West Indies will take a call on his inclusion on the eve of the match. With Holder and Kyle Mayers in the squad as other seam-bowling allrounders, they may not want to rush him through.
Apart from Paul, Keacy Carty could be the other one to miss out from the 13-member squad. India have plenty of decisions to make.
Who will open with Dhawan? What will the seam-bowling attack look like? Do they pick Shardul Thakur at No. 8? They can choose from Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan and Shubman Gill to open with Dhawan.
Among seamers, Mohammed Siraj, Avesh Khan, Prasidh Krishna and Arshdeep Singh are their options. However, Axar Patel may find it difficult to get a game with Ravindra Jadeja named the vice-captain. (ESPNcricinfo)
The match time is 09:30h.
West Indies ODI squad: Nicholas Pooran (Captain), Shai Hope (Vice-Captain), Shamarh Brooks, Keacy Carty, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Gudakesh Motie, Keemo Paul, Rovman Powell, Jayden Seales.
Reserves: Romario Shepherd, Hayden Walsh Jr.
India ODI squad: Shikhar Dhawan (capt), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Ravindra Jadeja (vice-capt), Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan, Prasidh Krishna, Mohammed Siraj, Arshdeep Singh.