India and West Indies are set to take on each other in a three-match ODI series, starting Sunday at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

India and West Indies are set to take on each other in a three-match ODI series, starting Sunday at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. Team India will want to change their fortunes after a sorry 0-3 defeat against South Africa last month. India were beaten convincingly by the Proteas, and their middle-order was once again exposed. 

To add to the wound, India’s bowlers, too, were ordinary and allowed SA to gain momentum. This series versus WI sees India rest premier pacers Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami. So the others need to fill in and deliver. India also lack a genuine all-rounder, with Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya both injured. Also, their batting looks a bit weakened after three players contracted the coronavirus.

Meanwhile, WI will be in an upbeat mood. They won a thrilling 3-2 T20I series versus England at home. They may have fallen short against India of late in ODIs, but one expects the Kieron Pollard-led side to show some teeth. WI have some solid names in the middle as Nicholas Pooran and Shai Hope. These two can be their primary assets. 

With the ball, the return of Kemar Roach can be of huge help. WI will want skipper Pollard to lead by example. They have Jason Holder in the mix as well, and he has been playing well of late.

In this article, we do seven key player battles.

Kohli vs Roach

Virat Kohli got two fifties versus SA recently but couldn’t bat longer to get India past the line. This time he will want to go the distance. Kohli has a superb record against WI, and he will bank on that. The battle against Kemar Roach will be exciting. Roach has all the experience and can tease Kohli to go hard and wide in that fifth stump channel. As per Cricmetric, Roach has bowled 264 balls to Kohli, conceding 274 runs. He has dismissed Kohli twice.

Pooran vs Thakur

Nicholas Pooran can be dangerous for WI in the middle-order. He has all the expertise needed to thwart the Indian bowlers. Pooran, who needs to be consistent, will be tested by Shardul Thakur, who can get those cheeky slower balls into play. In ODIs, Pooran has managed 28 runs from 19 deliveries bowled by Thakur, who has got the former once.

Pollard vs Chahal

Pollard is known for his big shots, fancying the spinners. Moreover, Pollard can get those extra runs at the death for WI when they need a move on. However, it will be interesting to watch him face Chahal. The latter hasn’t bowled to Pollard in ODIs but has been good in the IPL, dismissing him four times. Pollard has 69 runs from 43 balls against the wrist-arm spinner.

Hope vs Chahar

Shai Hope has big responsibility up his sleeves when he comes out to bat up the order. India could use both Thakur and Deepak Chahar. The latter will be keen to get the ball to swing and pitch in the right areas. Hope has done an able job versus Chahar, scoring 58 runs from 59 balls and not being dismissed so far. He has hit seven fours and two sixes.

Holder vs Pant

We all know how unpredictable Rishabh Pant can be. He often comes in and goes for the big shots, getting into trouble. However, if Pant settles in, he can be destructive. His application against Jason Holder will be key. Holder is a prime all-rounder and has plenty of variations. He has the knack of claiming wickets. Pant has managed 16 runs from 10 balls against Holder, not being dismissed yet.

Rohit vs Walsh

Rohit Sharma will need to anchor India’s innings, and we all know how dangerous he can be once he settles in. His usage of the feet and hitting the big shots will be something WI need to be wary of. Rohit will be targeting spinner, Hayden Walsh. In ODIs, Walsh’s veteran Rohit has scored 10 runs from 10 balls and is yet to be dismissed.

Suryakumar vs Akeal

Slow left-arm orthodox bowler Akeal Hosein has had an excellent start to his ODI career for WI. Hosein looks confident in his approach, and he is a white-ball specialist. His approach against Suryakumar Yadav will be interesting. SKY is a solid player and handles spin well. It will be an interesting battle between two new players.

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