With ODIs facing existential crisis, India and West Indies face-off in a three-match series


Shikhar Dhawan led Indian team will play West Indies in a three-match ODI series against the West Indies, starting on Friday in Trinidad.

The format itself has been facing doubts over its context in the modern game following England’s World Cup winning hero Ben Stokes announcing retirement this week, citing it impossible to keep up with all the formats given the crammed up cricket schedule. With T20s spearheading the game’s economy and Test cricket being resuscitated with the World Test Championship, is push comes to shove, ODIs seem like the first in line to be sacrificed.

The Indian team selection does add more weight to that narrative. Captain Rohit Sharma, former captain Virat Kohli, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami, Hardik Pandya, and Rishabh Pant have all been rested for the series. Dhawan, who hasn’t featured in Tests and T20Is for India in a while, has been named as captain for the three matches. The 36-year old had a tough time out in England as he was able to score only 41 runs across the three games and will have a point to prove with the bat.

There are three alternatives for Dhawan’s opening partner with Shubman Gill, Ishan Kishan and Ruturaj Gaikwad, all in the squad.

In the middle order, Deepak Hooda and Suryakumar Yadav are almost certain to feature. The duo scored a century each for India in T20Is against Ireland and England respectively, and have made a strong case for their spot in the eleven. With the certainty of Ravindra Jadeja, the think tank can go with either of Shreyas Iyer or Sanju Samson to complete the batting lineup. Shardul Thakur is likely to take the case of the pace bowling all-rounder with Hardik Pandya being rested.

In the spin bowling department, India can choose between Yuzvendra Chahal and Axar Patel to accompany Jadeja while Mohammed Siraj and Prasidh Krishna can be expected as the two frontline pacers. Arshdeep Singh, who had missed out on getting an ODI cap in England following an abdominal strain was seen bowling in the nets on Thursday, and can start in the first match.

Hosts, West Indies come into the series on the back of a 0-3 loss against Bangladesh at home. Captain Nicholas Pooran will be delighted to have all-rounder Jason Holder back in the squad. The Windies were clean sweeped by India in the three-match ODI series at home back in February and have struggled in the format for some time. Since the 2019 World Cup, they have managed to bat full 50 overs just six times in 39 innings and that should be a concern for the side.

Speaking of which, with the next ODI World Cup less than 12 months away, both teams would have some near future context to play the series with.


India: Shikhar Dhawan (Captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan (wk), Sanju Samson (wk), Ravindra Jadeja (vice-captain), Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan, Prasidh Krishna, Mohd Siraj and Arshdeep Singh.

West Indies: Nicholas Pooran (captain), Shai Hope (vice-captain), Shamarh Brooks, Keacy Carty, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Gudakesh Motie, Keemo Paul, Rovman Powell and Jayden Seales.

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