India vs WI, 1st ODI Preview: India look to put their World Cup disappointment behind
India might try Shreyas Iyer to solve the no.4 conundrum when they take on West Indies in the first ODI at Providence stadium in Guyana.
With an air of invincibility, India return to the format that gave them a heartbreak after they exited the Cricket World Cup following a loss against New Zealand in the semi-final.
India take on West Indies in the first of three-match ODI series at Providence Stadium in Guyana on August 8.
Opener Shikhar Dhawan, who was out of the World Cup at the initial stage of India's campaign following an injury, will make a comeback. With Indian captain Virat Kohli and vice-captain Rohit Sharma being the other two players in top-3, India's top order looks formidable.
With 17 hundreds in 130 ODIs, Dhawan will rightfully take his place at the top of the order alongside Rohit. Dhawan's inclusion would mean that KL Rahul is likely to be pushed to the number four spot.
However, Rahul can't take his place in the playing XI for granted as Kohli might include Shreyas Iyer in the team. In the T20I series, Iyer was the only player to not start in any of the three matches.
Rishabh Pant will don the wicketkeeping gloves in MS Dhoni's absence. Kedar Jadhav and Pant can be shuffled between No.5 and No.6 depending on the match requirement.
Manish Pandey could fill in for the remaining spot but he did not have an impressive outing in the T20I series and team management could be tempted to include Ravindra Jadeja and see how it pans out.
With Bhuvneshwar Kumar playing three T20 Internationals in a week across two countries, he will probably get to cool his heels with Mohammed Shami leading the attack and Navdeep Saini making his ODI debut.
The World Cup disappointment did not seem to bother Kohil’s men as they overpowered the hosts 3-0 in the T20I series.
Sharma, who hit a record five tons in the World Cup, will look to continue his golden run with the bat in the 50-over format.
Kohli, who also enjoyed a great run in the mega event, will not be short on motivation despite the lack of world beaters in the opposition camp. The batting mainstay is also aware that a section of former players raised question mark around his captaincy in the limited overs format.
It pained him that one bad outing, after a dominant run, put paid to his team's hopes in the World Cup.
While the stage in the Caribbean islands is no match to the one at the World Cup, Kohli will still be too pleased with a commanding performance by his team.
Runs and wickets from the likes of young Rishabh Pant and Krunal Pandya have left the captain impressed, and hopeful of a bright future. Krunal was named Man of the Series for his all-round exploits in the T20s.
Thoroughly outplayed in the shortest format, West Indies will hope the return of the talismanic Chris Gayle bolsters them. Gayle during the World Cup had announced that the home series against India will be his last. So the Men-in-Maroon would want to give the Universe Boss a series win as a farewell gift.
Left-handed opener John Campbell, Roston Chase and all-rounder Keemo Paul have all been recalled to the 14-member squad for the matches.