India will be playing the One-Day International series opener against West Indies on 22nd July. These games, part of the ICC ODI Super League, are crucial in ensuring India’s rise in the points table. Both teams will be looking forward to trying out various combinations.
Selectors looking for final checks:
With not many matches left before the T20 World Cup, many players will be looking forward to this series to compel the selectors to take notice. One such player is Arshdeep Singh who is likely to make his ODI debut on Friday. He would be a good option given that he has proven in the past that he can do well in the death-overs and it wouldn’t hurt to try him out ahead of the World Cup. Also, he missed out in the England ODI series, and both Prasidh Krishna and Siraj not faring well its safe to say he is now a favorite to come into the side. While you can’t denounce Mohammed Siraj, trying out Arshdeep would give India a backup seamer.
Apart from Arshdeep, the bowling options include Vice-Captain Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan, Prasidh Krishna, and Mohammed Siraj. Pacer Mohammed Siraj and wrist-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal are expected to lead the bowling attack. Ravindra Jadeja would be the pivot of both batting and bowling units. The team may go for the three pacer plan as well with Shardul, Siraj, and Arshdeep. With Bumrah, Shami, and Bhuvneshwar rested, the ODI team will expect the youngsters to deliver.
Big Guns Rested:
India commence the series without most of their key players. The list includes skipper Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant, and Jasprit Bumrah. Without them, veteran batsman Shikhar Dhawan is set to lead the Men in Blue. The left-hander, 36, has previously led the team in ODI and T20I matches in Sri Lanka last year during which he became the oldest person to captain India in the 50-over format at the age of 35. With 460 runs in 14 matches, he fared considerably well in the 2022 IPL. He is, without a doubt, a crucial player for India in the upcoming World Cup. Time and time again, Dhawan has asserted his dominance in ICC tournaments and so this series will be a chance for him to cement his place in the WC squad.
Opening Dilemma and Batting woes:
Another question that looms over coach Rahul Dravid is the opening pair for the series. Apart from Shikhar Dhawan, the opener options are Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan, Sanju Samson, and Ruturaj Gaikwad. With a left-right combination being at the center of discussions, Shubman Gill might clinch the spot with Ishan Kishan coming in at No.3. The middle order is stocked with the likes of Suryakumar Yadav, Deepak Hooda, Shreyas Iyer, and Sanju Samson. Since Suryakumar Yadav is likely to be #4, there are two spots up for grabs. Hooda, with his ability to bowl a few overs and form lately, is likely to take one of the two spots. The vice-captain of the series, Ravindra Jadeja, will play the role of a floater. Depending on the combinations and match-ups in the lower middle-order, he provides the left-handed alternative and might be utilized. Shreyas Iyer has primarily played at Nos. 3 to 5, therefore Hooda may have to go down to No. 6.
The return of Jason Holder is the only positive development for hosts post the aftermath of the Bangladesh series. The former captain will have to inspire with both bat and ball. Pooran, the team’s current captain, is under a great deal of pressure to get his side back on track after the loss they suffered following easy 2-0 series victories in Tests and T20 Internationals against Bangladesh. West Indies might want to come close to scoring the kind of totals that genuinely challenge their opponents. To do that, everyone must be on their game, notably opening batsman Shai Hope.
What this means to India?
The T20 World Cup in Australia right around the corner. The mega event will soon be followed by India playing hosts for the 50-over World Cup in 2023. The stakes are much higher than they seem. Both the teams will look to get positive results and gear up for the days to come. Stay Tuned with TheSportsway for more updates.