There will be lots of strength to show against West Indies in all departments. Who performs before Shikhar Dhawan? What is the appearance of the middle order? India must make some choices for the first One-Day International against the West Indies on Friday.
Several players of the Indian team have traveled across the Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean for another 50-over match starting on Friday, two days after India clinched the ODI series in England on Sunday. But KL Rahul is currently recovering from his hernia surgery, so there isn’t Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, or Jasprit Bumrah have been rested.
As a result, a few players who tend to sit on the bench will have an opportunity to show off their skills. Before the opening ODI in Trinidad against the West Indies, head coach Rahul Dravid and interim captain Shikhar Dhawan must make a few choices.
Batter with Dhawan
Ishan Kishan is being prepared to be India’s backup opener and wicketkeeper of the first choice. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan’s reunion prevented them from participating in the ODI series in England, but Kishan is the favorite to open in Rohit’s absence.
India will have two left-handed hitters at the top if Kishan and Dhawan bat together. Ruturaj Gaikwad and Shubman Gill are the best candidates if they desire a left-right combination.
Gaikwad has not yet participated in an ODI, but in domestic 50-over cricket, he has amassed impressive stats: an average of 54.73 and a strike rate of 100 in 63 innings. In the Vijay Hazare Trophy at the end of 2021, Gaikwad scored 603 runs for Maharashtra in five innings, including four hundred. With a 113 strike rate, those runs were scored.
In contrast, Gill has only participated in three ODIs, the most recent of which was in Australia in December 2020. This is Gill’s first ODI call-up in 18 months, and that match was also his last List A game, so he hasn’t had any recent match preparation in the 50-over format. Gill most recently played as the opener for Gujarat Titans during their championship-winning IPL 2022 season, scoring 483 runs at a strike rate of 132.32.
The Middle Order batters
Because Suryakumar Yadav is the front-runner for one of those slots, Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Hooda, Sanju Samson, and maybe Gill are battling for the remaining two or three middle-order positions.
Shreyas’ reputation has suffered since making a full recovery from a shoulder injury that sidelined him for six months last year. As a result of teams beginning to target him with short deliveries, he is currently ranked behind Suryakumar in the limited-overs cricket rankings. Shreyas, who had only participated in the first of the three ODIs in England, was inserted into the starting lineup when Kohli recovered from a groin ache. Since Kohli has taken another rest, Shreyas will likely move back up to No. 3.
Samson has been around for a very long time, but he has only participated in one One Day International, in which he hit a run-a-ball 46 on his debut in Sri Lanka last year. Samson hasn’t been thought of as a steady batter, but he hasn’t had a consistent run of opportunities. He most recently played one T20I during the Ireland tour and scored 77 runs off of 42 balls. Samson will be eager to string together a string of successful scores if given the opportunity in this series.
Hooda made his ODI debut earlier this year against the West Indies as a middle-order hitter. He has since participated in India’s limited-overs plans. He scored most of his 451 runs in his maiden IPL season for the Lucknow Super Giants at No. 3 and later scored a century in a T20I in Ireland while batting at No. 3.
As Hardik and Pant are taking a series-long break, Hooda and one of the left-arm spinners, Ravindra Jadeja or Axar Patel, may fill in lower in the order. Hooda is not a great ball-turner, but his infrequent offspin can be accurate as seen by his economy rate of 4.45 in List A cricket.
The Destructive Bowling attacks
With Yuzvendra Chahal as the preferred spinner, India could bat Jadeja and Thakur at Nos. 7 and 8 to strengthen their lower-order batting. This leaves two slots open for specialist fast bowlers. Arshdeep Singh, Prasidh Krishna, or Avesh Khan are the final candidates for India because Mohammed Siraj is the front-runner for one of those positions.
While Prasidh only had two wickets in the three games, Arshdeep missed the England ODIs due to a niggle.
Disclaimer: The insights expressed in this article are those of the author. This article was not written or edited by Empireweekly.com; it was published on July 24, 2022.