IND vs WI, Highlights: Rohit Sharma smashes his 20th ton and toys with the Windies attack to help India win. He remained unbeaten on 152* and Rayudu carried his bat through, he remained unbeaten on 22.
After a resounding show in the two-match Test series, Team India will eye to stretch their dominance in the coloured outfit against an already reeling West Indies in the five-match ODI series starting on Sunday. With this series, the countdown to the 2019 World Cup has begun and the men in blue will hope to get more answers for their unresolved middle-order puzzle. The World Cup in England is less than eight months away and India have 18-odd games left to decide their middle order, mainly the number four position where many have been tried but with little success.
The series will also mark captain Virat Kohli’s return to white-ball cricket as he had taken a much-needed break during the team’s triumphant campaign in Asia Cup. Kohli is expected to try out a new combination in the middle order, a glimpse of that already shown as the hosts announce their 12-man team for the first ODI on Saturday. Explosive wicketkeeper/batsman Rishabh Pant looks set to make his ODI debut, following his exploits in the longest format.
The 21-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman, who scored a century at the Oval in his debut series against England, continued his sublime form with consecutive scores of 92 against the West Indies in the two-match Test series. The focus once again will be on MS Dhoni, whose batting ability is on the wane and with limited playing time in the middle, the job gets only tougher for the legendary cricketer. However, chief selector MSK Prasad has time and again said that Dhoni remains the first choice wicketkeeper at least till the World Cup.
Unlike the Tests, the West Indies were expected to be much more competitive in ODIs but they are grappling with multiple woes. Dynamic opener Evin Lewis has withdrawn from the ODI series citing personal reasons, dealing another blow to the side which is already missing Chris Gayle and Andre Russell.
To make matters worse, coach Stuart Law, who is into his penultimate assignment with the team, will not be allowed in the dressing room in the first two ODIs due to a breach of ICC’s code of conduct. (Read Full Preview – 1st ODI)