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The India vs West Indies ODI series got off to an exciting start in terms of the runs scored but the contest between the two sides was still hopelessly one-sided. West Indies showed a lot more fight in this format of the game and managed to put up a 320 plus total for the Indians. Unfortunately for them, the legendary Indian top order once again made mincemeat out of this challenging total.
Now, the series moves to Visakhapatnam for the second ODI, where both teams will be looking to build on their positives from the opening encounter.
The West Indies have shown that their youngsters are pretty talented and should not be taken lightly while the Indians underlines their dominance in ODI cricket. Can the West Indies try and upset the Indians or will it be one-way traffic again?
There were a few telling things to be gleaned from Virat Kohli’s press conference before the series began. He spoke about how he believed Ambati Rayadu had done enough to stake his place in the middle order and that he wanted to play a settled team for the majority of the matches leading up to the ICC World Cup 2019.
This means that Kedar Jadhav coming back into the side in place of Rishab Pant whenever he is fit, is perhaps the only change we can see in the Indian batting order over the long term.
The flat nature of the pitches and just the insane consistency with which the Indian top-3 play, also may mean that the Indian middle-order may not get a workout until later in this series.
Shikhar Dhawan missed out in the opening match after he was out to a good delivery from Oshane Thomas but he is also in too good a form to continue to get out early. Like we mentioned in the earlier previews for this series, we recommend placing a bet on the all of the top-3 making a century in every game because it is bound to pay out more often than not in this series.
Ambati Rayadu played a good inning coming in late during the last match and that would have buoyed his confidence too. With the experienced Dhoni and the explosive Pant to follow, India has a deep batting order, even if it is a little untested in recent times.
The real surprise that the team management the was the exclusion of Kuldeep Yadav from the playing eleven. Kuldeep has been brilliant for India in the last year or so and had leapfrogged Ravindra Jadeja as the second spinner.
Now, though, it seems like India has decided to keep the number 7 slot for an all-rounder like Pandya or Jadeja and leave the remaining place for one spinner. It will be interesting to see if we see Kuldeep replace Jadeja or even Chahal deeper into this series because we certainly believe he is too good to just keep missing out.
India’s fast bowlers were a little disappointing in the opening match. Mohammad Shami was very expensive, Khaleel Ahmed looks too raw, and Umesh Yadav did not get any swing from the surface. With surfaces expected to be as good for batting in the upcoming matches as well, the Indian fast bowlers will quickly have to adjust.
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, V Kohli, Ambati Rayudu, RR Pant, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, YS Chahal, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav.
There is tremendous potential in this West Indian side and a couple of youngsters have already caught the attention of the cricket playing world thanks to their performances in the CPL. Shimron Hetmyer showed how much he prefers the white ball formats to the red ball as he smashed a 78 ball 106 in the opening game.
There were six sixes that studded his inning and he was responsible for getting the West Indies well on the path to a score of above 300. The start to the inning was provided by Kieron Powell who continued to have a good India tour. His inning of 51 from just 39 balls provided the initial impetus to the inning.
A total of 322 is a good total, no matter what the surface is, or who the opposition is. The West Indies, though, will rue the fact that they lost too many wickets in the middle to be able to capitalize and left about 50 runs on the table.
Hemraj did not get a start and we are not sure he deserves a place in the top-order at all. Someone like Hope or Hetmyer could move up to the top of the inning instead of Hemraj and make way for Fabien Allen down the order.
Marlon Samuel too played down the wrong line and was out dead plumb in front of the wicket.
The middle order for this West Indian side is very strong thanks to the presence of Rovman Powell and Jason Holder in there. Both these players have the strength to hit sixes at will and are greatly improved batsmen.
If Rovman Powell can just temper his aggression a little bit then we have no doubt he will score big fifties and hundreds with regularity.
All in all, the West Indies started their ODI series with an excellent batting performance and will now hope to take that confidence into further matches.
What about the bowling?
It is difficult to say what kind of bowling performance it was when the bowling unit runs into Kohli and Rohit. Oshane Thomas bowled with fire and should continue to do that. He will ruffle a few feathers and make a few batsmen jump and that could result in the West Indies getting past the Indian top-3.
Kemar Roach, Jason Holder, Devendra Bishoo, and Ashley Nurse were helpless to stop the Indian pair from scoring at will. The surface did not offer anything to the bowlers and the dew also made it hard.
We think that the West Indies should not make too many changes but just try to execute their skills in a better manner next time around.
Kieran Powell, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Shai Hope, MN Samuels, Shimron Hetmyer, Rovman Powell, Jason Holder, Ashley Nurse, Devendra Bishoo, Kemar Roach, Obed McCoy.
The team winning the toss is likely to bat first
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
There has been some rain around in the air but the forecast generally is for clear skies. We should not have any problem getting a full game in. As far as the pitch goes, Visakhapatnam offers a little help to the spinners but is by and large an excellent batting surface.
A score of around 300-320 should be considered par.
India has been winning matches with a historical dominance in the ODI format of the game. They may have some off days but they are few and far in between. At home against a West Indian attack that is short on experience and skill, stopping the Indian batsmen may be difficult.
Back India to win.
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