Last Update on: December 15th, 2019 at 12:05 am
Right then! Post a topsy-turvey T20 series; the teams travel to Chennai for the first of the three-game ODI series. The Windies pushed India to the breaking point in the shortest format, despite their loss to Afghanistan just before facing the men in blue. It was only in the third game that the hosts brought their top game, winning convincingly by performing well in all the departments to win the series.
When it comes to ODI cricket, the gulf is vast between India and the Windies. India are ranked second in ODIs while the Windies are languishing at the bottom at number nine. The tourists are coming on the back of a resounding series victory against Afghanistan, but India would pose a far greater challenge to them. The men in blue have emerged victorious in the last six out of seven games against them. It would be interesting to see how their new captain Kieron Pollard can marshall his team to a resurgence in ODI cricket.
The hosts, on the other hand, have been stricken by injuries to their significant players. Shikhar Dhawan, one of their mainstays in 50-over cricket, has lost his spot to Mayank Agarwal. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who sustained a groin injury during the final T20I in Mumbai on Wednesday, has been replaced by Shardul Thakur. Amid this, India possess a plethora of competent options in both departments that can put the visitors in a spot of bother.
The men from the Caribbean drafted few new faces from the Caribbean Premier League. The likes of Brandon King, Nicholas Pooran, Kharry Pierre, Hayden Walsh have provided glimpses in the T20s; hence, it should be riveting to see how they go about in a more extended version of the game.
Brandon King, Shai Hope (wk), Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran, Kieron Pollard (c), Khary Pierre, Jason Holder, Roston Chase, Hayden Walsh Jr., Sheldon Cotrell, Alzarri Joseph.
KL Rahul, post his sensational outing in the T20 internationals, is likely to open the innings with Rohit Sharma. The home side are starting to get more stability in the middle-order, given the introduction of Shreyas Iyer at number four. The addition of Shivam Dube gives them the required muscle and a pace bowling option in the lower-order in the absence of Hardik Pandya. The spin twins of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal are also expected to team up again. The home side are also likely to slot in Ravindra Jadeja, considering the nature of the pitch.
Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (c), Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Deepak Chahar, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal
Date and venue: December 15th 2019, 1:30 pm, Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai.
The deck at Chennai is a bat-first pitch always. The humidity factor can assist the pace bowlers with swing in the afternoon. However, going later in the game, the deck is expected to favour the spinners entirely. Hence, batting first is a wise decision since the pitch gets slower as the game proceeds.
The good news is that there are little or no chances of the showers pouring in. Nevertheless, the humidity level is predicted at 68% on Sunday, which means that the players have to endure the sweltering heat.
Head to Head:
West Indies won: 61
Tied – 2
No result – 4
Cancelled – 2
Stats that matter:
India emerged victorious in the last ODI played between the two sides in Chennai by 34 runs.
Brian Lara holds the record for the most runs in ODIs in the Chidambaram Stadium, having scored 157 runs in two matches at an average of 78.50. The next best is Kieron Pollard, who has 144 runs in three games at 48.
After three closely fought contests thrice in T20s, the first ODI may also go down the wire. However, India are most likely slated to claim the first ODI, given they are playing in the home conditions with their full-strength side.