WITH just over two months left for the Men’s ODI World Cup to start, India will be aiming to restart and fine-tune their preparation for the marquee tournament when they face West Indies in the series opener starting on Thursday.
With many regulars of the Indian team still on the road to recovery from injuries of various kind, the series against the West Indies presents a chance for the likes of Sanju Samson, Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan and Umran Malik to strengthen their case for playing a home ODI World Cup.
With Shreyas Iyer out, Suryakumar Yadav is likely to be given a chance for batting at number four despite recording a hat-trick of ducks in the ODIs against Australia in March.
Ishan Kishan And Sanju Samson Fight For Wicketkeeper Slot
In the absence of KL Rahul, who’s on the road to recovery from a right thigh injury, Ishan Kishan and Sanju Samson will be competing for the wicketkeeper’s spot in the playing eleven.
Kishan, the left-handed batter, hasn’t been able to set the ODI stage on fire after his sensational double-hundred against Bangladesh at Chattogram last year. Samson, on the other hand, has put up good performances in the sporadic chances he got in ODIs and has an opportunity in the form of three consecutive matches in the Caribbean to put up consistent performances.
Kuldeep Yadav Or Yuzvendra Chahal? Tough Call For Rohit Sharma
With Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja expected to start, India have to make a toss-up between the wrist-spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal for the second spinner duties.
India also have to see if Malik, who has fared better in ODIs than T20Is, can be the x-factor pace-bowling option alongside Mohammed Siraj, with either Jaydev Unadkat or Mukesh Kumar to be the third pacer.
West Indies, on the other hand, will be considering this series as a new beginning to get back to being the force to reckon with in the format after missing the bus for this year’s ODI World Cup via the defeats in the Qualifiers in Zimbabwe.
Shai Hope and Brandon King will be the leaders with the bat, with the return of Shimron Hetmyer being a huge boost. Hetmyer hasn’t played in ODIs for West Indies since July 2021 but averages 45.45 against India.
In the absence of Jason Holder, Keemo Paul and Nicholas Pooran, expect the likes of Gudakesh Motie, Yannic Cariah, Alick Athanaze and Jayden Seales to be tried out as West Indies eye rebuild in ODIs, with India busy around preparation for the World Cup.
India vs West Indies ODI Squads
India: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Virat Kohli, Surya Kumar Yadav, Sanju Samson (wicket-keeper), Ishan Kishan (wicket-keeper), Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Shardul Thakur, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat, Mohammed Siraj, Umran Malik and Mukesh Kumar.
West Indies: Shai Hope (captain), Rovman Powell (vice-captain), Alick Athanaze, Yannic Cariah, Keacy Carty, Dominic Drakes, Shimron Hetmyer, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Gudakesh Motie, Jayden Seales, Romario Shepherd, Kevin Sinclair, Oshane Thomas.