After a clean sweep of the T20 series, India’s tour of America and the Caribbean moves into the ODI format as Providence Stadium plays host to the first of three contests as both teams start the long four-year haul towards the 2023 World Cup.
Despite both teams finishing at opposite ends of the points table in last month’s World Cup (India defeated in the semi final stage and the West Indies ninth), it was a failed tournament for both nations as India were widely tipped to hold aloft the trophy and the West Indies definitely expected more than just two victories.
Both countries are now experiencing transition with a couple of legends of the sport reaching the final stages of their careers. For India, MS Dhoni is not a part of this tour (though an official ODI retirement has not been announced); while for the West Indies, Chris Gayle, Andre Russell and Kieron Pollard are all in the twilight of their ODI careers.
The good news for Windies fans is that Gayle (this will be ODI game number 299) and Pollard have been selected for this series, with the latter having a point to prove after missing World Cup selection. In fact, this will be Pollard’s first ODI in almost three years!
Other than Dhoni and Jasprit Bumrah being rested, it’s a fairly familiar Indian ODI squad as Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan (India’s second highest-scoring opening pair – behind Tendulkar and Ganguly) will likely be reacquainted in the opening role, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzendra Chahal as the four strike bowlers.
It wasn’t much of a contest when these two teams faced-off in last month’s World Cup. After India posted a modest total of 268, Shami 4/16, Bumrah 2/9 and Chahal 2/39 ripped through the West Indies line up within just 35 overs.
Recent history also does not bode well for the home team regarding this series. Not only have India won 24 of the last 33 matches (with one draw), but the last time the West Indies defeated India in a H2H series was in 2006. In fact the West Indies’ last ODI series victory against any team was back in 2014.
WI vs IND – Players to watch out for
Consecutive scores of 102, 104 and 103 but then dismissed for just a single in India’s most important game of the World Cup (the semi-final), Rohit Sharma will be looking to make amends for that disappointment.
From five ODI innings, John Campbell has an ODI average of 49.60. But if his 179 against Ireland was deducted, it would be just 17.25 – meaning a question mark still hovers over his talent.
The West Indies are 7-8 in ODI matches at Providence Stadium. In 33 ODI innings against the West Indies, Virat Kohli has surpassed fifty in 17. This decade, India are 7-4 in ODI matches in the Caribbean.
Shimron Hetmeyer averages 88.50 from two innings at Providence Stadium. The average first innings score at Providence this decade is just 224 (and 275 in the last five ODIs).