BCCI Makes Multiple Changes For ODI Series Against West Indies
India is coming back from a disastrous tour of South Africa, which finished with them losing the three-match ODI series 0-3. This is the first time in a long time that India has been outplayed and whitewashed in an ODI series. It wasn’t a great start for head coach Rahul Dravid who is looking to turn things around with the upcoming ODI series against West India.
Three Match ODI Series
The West Indies will tour India and start out by playing a three-match ODI series against India and then a three-match T20 series. The first ODI will take place on Feb 6, the second on Feb 9, and the final ODI on Feb 11. All three ODI games will occur at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad and will be D/N games.
This will be a big series for India as they are under pressure even before the series starts. If India loses this series, it will put Dravid under a lot of pressure along with new captain Rohit Sharma.
Sharma was unavailable for the South Africa series as he was injured. KL Rahul captained the side and was not very impressive. He will act as the vice-captain in this ODI series, and it will be up to R Sharma to turn things around.
BCCI Makes Big Changes To ODI Squad
The BCCI held discussions with Dravid and KL Rahul before selecting the ODI squad for the West Indies series. After the South Africa series, Dravid said that India was missing good all-rounders in the 5,6 and 7 positions, and the selectors have looked to bring in more all-rounders to the ODI squad.
Top seamers J Bumrah and M Shami rested while B Kumar was not selected. Unofficial reports suggest that the selectors have decided to slowly phase B Kumar out of the ODI picture and only use him for T20s. R Jadeja is still recovering from his injuries and also misses out. The selectors have not selected H Pandya, nor have they provided any update on whether he is still recovering from injury or if he is not selected.
R Ashwin was also dropped from the ODI squad as the selectors decided to bring back K Yadav. The spinners will play a big role in India, and the BCCI feels the best options, for now, are Y Chahal, K Yadav, R Bishnoi, and A Patel. The fast bowlers include M Siraj, P Krishna, D Chahar, and A Khan.
We feel several all-rounders are in this squad led by S Thakur, who has established himself as a genuine all-rounder. W Sundar also makes his return to the squad, but he needs to do more with the bat to justify his place as an all-rounder. D Hooda also finds himself in the squad, but we will have to wait and see if he does get a game.
Our Experts Pick Their Playing XI
India needs to not only pick the right playing XI to win this series, but they also need to get their batting order right. India should get a boost of confidence with the return of R Sharma. This will be his first official series as the leader of the ODI squad, and it will be interesting to see how the squad responds.
R Sharma must open along with S Dhawan; V Kohli should come in at three and not be demoted to four. The number four spot can go to KL Rahul, while R Pant can bat at five, and S Thakul should play at 6. A Patel should be at 7, W Sundar at 8, K Yadav at 9, D Chahar at 10, and M Siraj at 11.
This looks to be the best squad, even though the batting looks a little weak. If you strengthen the batting by bringing in either S Yadav or S Iyer, you have to drop either W Sundar or S Thakul, which will weaken the bowling.
India Still Betting Favorites
Even though India is coming off a series of whitewash to South Africa, they will still enter as the betting favorites while playing on home soil. If India can win the first ODI and do it convincingly, they will shake off the pressure and make it difficult for the West Indies to win the series.
Kieron Pollard will lead the West Indies and feature a strong squad in both the batting and bowling departments. We expect this series to be a closely contested series where the spotlight will be on R Sharma’s leadership, whether Kohli can find a form with the bat, and how well the West Indies can play spin!