India and West Indies gear up for a three-match ODI series starting July 27. India are hosting the 2023 ODI World Cup. After two semi-final exits in the global event across the last two editions, the hunger under Rohit Sharma will be massive this time as replicating 2011 heroics will be key. It’s a new start for West Indies as they won’t feature in the World Cup. So they don’t have anything to lose, which may boost them to put in credible performances. Both teams have star personnel in their set-ups; the individual battles will be a testament. Ahead of a grueling series, we look at 6 key player battles in store.
Alzarri Joseph vs Rohit Sharma
West Indies pacer Alzarri Joseph will be keen to make his presence felt while leading the line for the hosts. He has a good ODI record, having claimed 101 wickets at 30.79. Joseph, who is three wickets shy of 50 on home soil, has fared well against Rohit in the 50-over format. Rohit looks solid, having scored three successive 50-plus scores in the recently concluded test series, which India won 1-0. As per ESPNcricinfo, Joseph has dismissed Rohit thrice in six ODI meetings. Rohit has scored 51 from 61 balls, averaging just 17.00. He has faced 37 dot balls. It won’t be easy sailing for Rohit, as Joseph has had the upper hand.
Alzarri Joseph vs Virat Kohli
Joseph hasn’t just been successful against Rohit. He also gives a decent account of himself against India’s talisman Virat Kohli. Joseph, who is known to hit the deck hard, has faced Kohli across 8 ODI innings to date. He has managed to dismiss the 34-year-old on three occasions. Kohli has a decent strike rate of 114,70, scoring 78 runs from 68 balls. He has smashed Joseph for eight fours and two sixes, besides facing 29 dot balls. However, Kohli’s average isn’t that good. His tally reads 26.00.
Romario Shepherd vs Shubman Gill
WI pacer Romario Shepherd played four matches in the ICC ODI World Cup Qualifiers, claiming four scalps from four games. Shepherd will need to be able to support Joseph with the new ball. He would be keen to start well and perturb someone like Shubman Gill, who struggled in the longest format in the recently concluded series. Shepherd has bowled to Gill in two innings, having bowled 15 deliveries. Gill has scored 17 runs, including eight singles. Overall, Gill has 1311 runs in ODI cricket at an average of 65.55.
Kevin Sinclair vs Sanju Samson/Ishan Kishan
WI spinner Kevin Sinclair has done a decent job in his short ODI career, having managed 11 wickets from seven matches at 25.64. His economy rate is also below five runs an over. Sinclair, who bowls right-arm off-break, will have his task cut out against Sanju Samson or Ishan Kishan. India must pick one between the two wicket-keeper batters; both are explosive options. As per ESPNcricinfo, Samson has faced right-arm off-spinners in two ODI innings, scoring 22 runs from 24 balls without being dismissed. Meanwhile, left-handed batter Kishan has scored 143 runs from 104 balls across seven innings without losing his wicket.
Ravindra Jadeja vs Shimron Hetmyer
Senior Indian left-arm spin all-rounder Ravindran Jadeja is closing in on 200 ODI scalps. Jadeja has a solid record against West Indies and can become the top wicket-taker in IND-WI ODI matches. However, Jadeja will have his task cut out against Shimron Hetmyer, whose presence will lift the hosts. Across seven innings, Hetmyer has scored 128 runs from 104 balls off Jadeja, averaging 64.00. He has smashed nine sixes and four fours, striking at 123.07. Jadeja has managed to dismiss the left-hander on two counts.
Hardik Pandya vs Kyle Mayers
Hardik Pandya’s role is extremely crucial as the third pacer of the side. India are likely to field six bowling options, with Jadeja and Pandya as all-rounders. With his slower balls and cutters, Pandya can make things count on these surfaces here in WI. Meanwhile, Kyle Mayers can be a solid option for WI in the middle order. In 25 matches, he has amassed 618 runs at 26.87. Pandya is yet to bowl at Mayers, who has a SR of 84.89. Pandya, who could be handy in overs 30-40, will face a stiff test bowling to Mayers, who has scored 74 runs from 53 balls in this phase, being dismissed twice.