Match Preview – West Indies vs India, West Indies in India 2021/22, 1st ODI
India could bring in wristspinners against a right-hander heavy West Indies batting line-up
After Ireland toppled West Indies 2-1 in the ODI series in the Caribbean, Kieron Pollard’s men rallied to beat England 3-2 in the T20I series that followed. This, despite the absence of Shimron Hetmyer, who has been left out on fitness grounds and Evin Lewis, who is yet to return to action post-Covid.
Hetmyer and Lewis aren’t part of the white-ball squads for the India tour, too, so this is another chance for West Indies’ emerging players and comeback men to catch the attention of the national selectors and the IPL scouts, with the auction scheduled to be held on February 12 and 13.
Wristspinners Ravi Bishnoi, who is uncapped in international cricket, and Kuldeep Yadav have also been brought in to address the lack of wicket-taking threat in the middle overs, something that severely hamstrung India in South Africa. With no Chris Gayle or Lewis or Hetmyer, the wristspinners could play a substantial role against a potentially right-hander-laden West Indies line-up.
India LLLLW (Last five completed ODIs; most recent first)
West Indies LLWLW
Aakash Chopra picks his India XI
In the spotlight
Ishan Kishan brings with him a no-holds-barred batting approach, a departure from India’s previous approach that prioritised safety. In the illness-enforced absence of Shikhar Dhawan and Ruturaj Gaikwad, Kishan will be looking to show his range, something that the IPL is familiar with, and stake his claim for a longer run in India’s white-ball sides.
With Agarwal still undergoing mandatory quarantine, India captain Rohit confirmed that Kishan would open the batting along with him on Sunday. On the bowling front, Kuldeep is likely to reunite with Yuzvendra Chahal. India might have to make a choice between Deepak Hooda and Washington for the allrounder role. On the eve of the match, Tamil Nadu batter Shahrukh was upgraded into the main squad after having been picked as a reserve player for the T20Is against West Indies.
India: (probable) 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Ishan Kishan, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Rishabh Pant (wk), 5 Suryakumar Yadav, 6 Deepak Hooda/Washington Sundar, 7 Deepak Chahar, 8 Shardul Thakur, 9 Kuldeep Yadav, 10 Yuzvendra Chahal, 11 Prasidh Krishna
King will likely tussle with Nkrumah Bonner for a top-order slot. Darren Bravo provides a left-handed middle-order option, although he hasn’t played an ODI since July 2021. Roach is set to play his first ODI in more than two years.
West Indies: (probable) 1 Shai Hope (wk), 2 Brandon King/Nkrumah Bonner, 3 Nicholas Pooran, 4 Shamarh Brooks, 5 Darren Bravo, 6 Kieron Pollard (capt), 7 Odean Smith/Romario Shepherd, 8 Jason Holder, 9 Akeal Hosein, 10 Kemar Roach, 11 Hayden Walsh Jr.
Pitch and conditions
England and India played out a high-scoring T20I series the last time the Motera staged international cricket, around this time last year in 2021. The pitch might favour the batters once again although the bigger boundaries could challenge their power-hitting. Dew could be a factor later in the evening. The weather is expected to be fine for the duration of the game.
Stats and trivia
- Sunday’s ODI will be India’s 1000th. They will be the first side to reach the mark in the format.
- Yuzvendra Chahal needs one wicket to get to 100 strikes in ODI cricket. He will be the ninth Indian spinner to reach the milestone after Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh, Ravindra Jadeja, Sachin Tendulkar, R Ashwin, Ravi Shastri, Yuvraj Singh and Kuldeep.
- West Indies have played 58 ODIs against India in India, losing 29 and winning 28.
- This will be the first ODI at Motera in more than seven years.
Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo