MS Dhoni and his merry men are just few months away from the World Cup build-up as they begin their charge towards the tag of world champions when they take on the West Indies in the 1st ODI of the five-match series…
MS Dhoni and his merry men are just few months away from the World Cup build-up as they begin their charge towards the tag of world champions when they take on the West Indies in the 1st ODI of the five-match series in Kochi on Wednesday.
India has built their supremacy on the home soil and would look to keep the momentum going as they start as clear favourites.
India will be boosted by the news of their opponents’ key players not making the trip. Spinner Sunil Narine misses out due to his illegal bowling action whereas Chris Gayle, who knows the Indian conditions very well, is out due to injury.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led India are on a high after their thumping series win in England but the slump of Virat Kohli might still be a worry. With current opener Rohit Sharma nursing an injury, the selectors have picked Murali Vijay but Dhoni prefers Rahane in that position. For Virat Kohli, there won’t be a better opportunity to get back into form as placid Indian tracks can his rhythm going. The likes of Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu and MS Dhoni in the middle-order, give India a perfect base against a West Indies bowling attack.
The Indian bowling attack wears a new look with CSK bowler Mohit Sharma making the cut yet again followed with the usual ones in Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami and Umesh Yadav. Ravi Ashwin is rested for the first 3-ODIs and in comes young 19-year old Kuldeep Yadav to support the likes of Ravindra Jadeja and Amit Mishra.
Without their blistering batsman Chris Gayle out, skipper Dwayne Bravo would be pinning his hopes on experienceD players like Darren Sammy, Darren Bravo and Kieron Pollard to take the onus of beating India. The bowling attack looks lethal as well with Jerome Taylor, Kemar Roach and Ravi Rampaul completing the list. But their spinning department without Narine is a cause of concern and the team have drafted in the lanky spinner, Sulieman Benn to thwart away the Indian attack.
Even though the West Indies side looks a decent bunch, the Indian batting gets the nod over their opponents. Without Sunil Narine and Chris Gayle, these men from the Carribbean have a torrid tour on their hands. Kochi has always given spinners assistance and thus, the likes of Ravindra Jadeja and Amit Mishra could torment Bravo and co.
India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ambati Rayudu, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Mohit Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Murali Vijay, Kuldeep Yadav.
West Indies: Dwayne Bravo (C), Darren Bravo, Jason Holder, Leon Johnson, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Andre Russel, Darren Sammy, Marlon Samuels, Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith, Jerome Taylor.