After the hectic schedule at the ICC World Cup 2019, the Indian team is set to go on a Caribbean tour which constitutes of 3 T20Is, 3 50-over matches and 2 test matches. The Men in Blue are scheduled to play the first One Day International match in Guyana and the next two ODI matches in Trinidad.
The likes of Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Khaleel Ahmed, and Navdeep Saini have got opportunities thanks to their consistent performances for India A and in the domestic circuit. Shubman Gill, who won the Man of the Series in recently concluded India A vs West Indies A ODI series, might feel unlucky to have missed out from the squad.
The Indian squad for the One Day series of three matches is – Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kedar Jadhav, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Navdeep Saini.
Here, we dissect and analyze the various facets of the selected squad.
The top-three comprising of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, and Virat Kohli has been the backbone of India’s batting line up since Champions Trophy 2013. Rohit Sharma, who was in the form of his life in the World Cup 2019, will hope to carry on the same way. His partner at the top of the order Shikhar Dhawan, who got injured after scoring a century against Australia in World Cup 2019, will wish to be back in the rhythm after a break.
Virat Kohli, the number one batsman in this format, failed to register any three-digit figure in the last eleven ODI matches despite crossing the 50-run mark five times. Kohli is arguably the best batsman of this generation and will wish to break this streak and hit his 8th hundred against the ‘Men in Maroon’.
The spin trio consisting of Chahal, Kuldeep and Jadeja can also be considered as one of India’s strength thanks to their record against the same opposition specifically both the left-arm spinners. Jadeja, Kuldeep, and Chahal have 36, 18 and 7 scalps to their name in 23, 10 and 3 matches respectively.
West Indies who are currently placed at the ninth position in the ICC ODI rankings won a bilateral series against India for the last time back in 2006. India, though, being the second-best ODI side in the world can not afford to consider Jason Holder’s men as a weak side at their home. West Indies gave a very tough fight to England, the best ODI side and successfully drew the series by 2-2 at their home.
None of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami, or Khaleel Ahmed are reliable options in the slog overs. Navdeep Saini, the young speedster, was great for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League in the death overs. But, can he replicate that or even better it when he dons Blue jersey? Bhuvneshwar and Shami are pretty good with the new ball but they are also expensive in the death overs at times. With Hardik Pandya, the hard-hitting batsman being rested, Kohli’s army will also be worried about the finishing touch in the slog overs.
The inexperienced lads like Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer and Khaleel Ahmed have appeared in less than ten One Day Internationals while Saini is yet to make his debut for the senior team. This series is an excellent opportunity for the above-mentioned players. Manish Pandey who has played only 23 ODIs so far has recieved another chance to cement his spot in the middle-order.
The skipper of ‘India A’ Manish Pandey was the only batsman to achieve the three-digit figure in the recently concluded ODI series against West Indies A. The 29-year-old was also in good form in IPL 2019 in which he averaged exactly 43 with three half-centuries under his belt. Mumbai-born batsman Iyer too had a good time against ‘West Indies A’ accumulating 187 runs with an average of more than 62 in 4 matches.
Topping the wicket charts in the same series were Khaleel and Saini. The young pacers picked up nine and eight wickets respectively.
Since the World Cup 2015, India has dominated against West Indies with a win-loss ratio of exactly 4 in 12 One Day International matches. Also, India won 3-1 in a bilateral series when they last played against two-time World Champions away from home.
There are not many threats for the Indian team against West Indies even in the latter’s backyard. However, Shai Hope and Shimron Hetmyer stunned Kohli’s men with their performances in the last bilateral series between the two. Hope, Hetmyer and Pooran are good players of spin and can tackle India’s spin attack well, considering the fact that Chahal and Kuldeep have not been at their best recently.
Whilst this series is a good opportunity for the middle order batsmen like Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, and Rishabh Pant, India’s top order must play cautiously against Sheldon Cottrell. The left-arm pacer Sheldon Cottrell was excellent with the new ball in World Cup 2019 and can also trouble India’s top order.