India v West Indies: First ODI Preview

Cricket ball sits on pitch

India have named a strong squad to take on the touring West Indies, who are unable to call on some of their biggest white-ball stars.

Chris Gayle and Andre Russell were ruled out of contention for the ODI series before the squad was selected, while Evin Lewis withdrew days before the first match, citing personal reasons.

India v West Indies
Sunday,  21 October
Dr Bhupen Hazarika Cricket Stadium

To Win Match
India 1/9 
Tie 35/1
West Indies 57/10

Like most elite teams at this time, India will be focused on World Cup preparation and skipper Virat Kohli should have a pretty good idea who is in the team's plans.

The squad probably already has 13 or 14 names pencilled in but a middle-order batsman and a quick bowler or two could still make a play for the group.

Dinesh Karthik appears to have blown his chance of making it to the World Cup with an underwhelming Asia Cup, while rookie wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant has forced his way into contention with some swashbuckling displays in Test cricket.

Amabati Rayudu gets another chance to impress but both he and Manish Pandey will know that their tickets to cricket's biggest showpiece have yet to be punched.

Among the bowlers Umesh Yadav has another chance to press his claims, thanks to the cruel injury sustained by Shardul Thakur on the first day of his Test career. Umesh has done little wrong with ball in hand but has struggled for game time behind the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah, who are rested for this series. Umesh is likely to be partnered up front by Mohammed Shami, while impressive rookie left-arm seamer Khaleel Ahmed is in reserve.

India's fearsome foursome of Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul and Kohli will pose a big threat to the West Indies bowlers on tracks that should be great for batting. 

West Indies
The West Indies have not been helped by outgoing coach Stuart Law's run-ins with the match officials in the second Test. Law will miss the first two ODIs after he publicly lashed out at match officials and made inappropriate comments to the fourth official and TV umpire. The coach announced he would leave his post after the tours to India and Bangladesh to take up a post at Middlesex.

In addition to this, the West Indies have a raft of players who have made themselves unavailable, suggesting issues between the board and the players have still not been settled.

Kieran Powell was named as the replacement for Lewis but the squad looks to be short on batting match-winners. Chandrapaul Hemraj and Fabian Allen could debut for the West Indies, who have brought a young squad over to face World Cup contenders India.

Rovman Powell is the kind of x-factor player that the West Indies will desperately need to fire if they are to compete against a side that few teams would be favoured to beat in any conditions, let alone in their backyard. Marlon Samuels provides some much-needed experience in the middle but he has been inconsistent of late and the tourists need regular contributions from him.

Verdict: India 1/9
The West Indies will need to produce something special to beat India but stranger things have happened.

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Written by Jonhenry Wilson for Hollywoodbets

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