While the likes of Virat Kohli and Jasprit Bumrah will be missing the entire tour, the likes of Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Dinesh karthik and R Ashwin will be back only for the shortest format.
But even in the absence of high-profile players, Team India will be a force to reckon with. The bench strength it possesses has been tested in the past and more often than not they have passed with flying colors. It will also be interesting to see how coach Rahul Dravid manages the team alongside Dhawan during the one-dayers.
With the ODI series starting on Friday, TimesofIndia.com here takes a look how the two teams stack up, man to man, in a few departments:
The openers – Shikhar Dhawan vs Shai Hope
When it comes to opening the innings in ODIs, Shikhar Dhawan has been one of the best in the world over the last few years. He last played a Test match in 2018 and a T20I in July 2021, but ODIs still remain a stronghold for the veteran Indian batter.
One of the most experienced batters in the Indian line-up, Dhawan will play a key role in the ODIs against West Indies. With other senior players missing out, the responsibility will be on Dhawan to anchor the Indian innings and play with maturity, which he is well known for.
Although the left-hander looked a bit rusty in the England ODI series, he will look to make quick amends as he gears up for a tough challenge, both as opener and captain. With a total of 6,325 runs in 152 games that include 7 hundreds and 5 fifties, Dhawan knows very well what it takes to succeed at this level in ODIs and the skipper will be looking to lead his team by example.
Shai Hope meanwhile will be the Windies opener to watch-out for. The scores of 2, 18 and 0 in the recently concluded Bangladesh series seem to show that Hope might be struggling for form, but the 28-year-old opener has got 12 ODI tons in 98 matches at an average of over 49 which could keep the Indian bowlers on their toes, especially in the powerplay overs.
Hope along with Brandon King will be a dangerous combination but India will look to exploit the fact that both the West Indies openers are short on confidence at the moment. The experience that Hope brings in makes him a dangerous batter and India will look to ensure that his bat remains silent.
The strokemakers – Ishan Kishan vs Nicholas Pooran
After proving his mettle in the shortest format, flamboyant Ishan Kishan will be one of India’s major weapons in the ODIs against West Indies. Struggling for opportunities in the longer formats due to stiff competition, the 3-match series is one in which Ishan will be desperately eying to make a mark.
The 24-year-old top-order batsman will most likely be opening for India alongside Shikhar Dhawan. But Ishan playing at no.3 with either Ruturaj Gaikwad or Shubman Gill opening the innings along with Dhawan is also a likely possibility.
Regardless of his batting position, the left-hander will be looking to go big and impress the team management. Still a newbie in the ODI circuit, Ishan only has 3 one-dayers to his name where he has 88 runs including a fifty. Ishan’s reputation of being a gifted stroke-maker sets him apart and the West Indies bowlers have got to be wary of that.
West Indies white ball captain Nicholas Pooran, a player who is known for his destructive batting skills, will be looking to come out all guns blazing in the upcoming series. Along with the leadership role, Pooran’s key job will be to fire with the bat. In the recently concluded ODI series against Bangladesh, Pooran got 91 runs in three matches with his highest score of 73 being registered in the final encounter.
Overall in ODIs, Pooran has got more international experience than Ishan, having played 46 games and amassed 1293 runs with 9 fifties and a century. Pooran batting in the middle order will provide immense strength to the team’s batting line-up.
Both Ishan and Pooran, gifted stroke-makers, will be looking to delight the fans in the upcoming series.
The all-rounders – Jason Holder vs Shardul Thakur
One of the best all-rounders currently in the international circuit, Jason Holder will be one of the biggest threats for India in the series. Making a comeback to the ODI set-up after February 2022, Holder will be itching to make a major impact in the 50-over format.
Since the IPL, which concluded in May, Holder hasn’t played any professional cricket but it also means that one of West Indies’ most experienced players will be fresh and raring to go all out against India.
Equally lethal with both bat and ball, Holder has got 2,019 runs including 11 fifties and 146 wickets to his name in the ODIs. A solid lower-order batter and an intelligent bowler, who can wreak havoc with the new and old ball alike, Holder could cause a lot of trouble for the India batters and bowlers.
On the other hand, India will miss the services of swashbuckling Hardik Pandya in the ODI series. But Shardul Thakur will be a viable fast bowling all-rounder option for India in the series.
Although Shardul is still youngish as far as international experience is concerned, the 30-year-old has got the experience of performing against quality sides. With 25 wickets and 205 runs including a fifty in 19 matches, Shardul will look to improve his figures in both the departments and pose a tough challenge to the home team. If Shardul gets going in the ODI series, it might also help him to make a case for himself for the 50-over World Cup next year.
The sloggers – Deepak Hooda vs Rovman Powell
A belligerent middle-order batter, who has taken the cricketing world by storm, Deepak Hooda’s rise has been astronomical over the last few months. Effortless slogging, confident stroke-making, taking the opposition bowlers to the cleaners at will and a rare T20I century defined Deepak in the Ireland series and the one T20I he played against England.
With now opportunity banging on the door for him in the 50-over format, Deepak, who has hit a purple patch, will be looking to exploit all the chances he might get in the ODIs against West Indies.
From opening the innings and playing responsibly against the new ball to taking apart the opposition’s attack in the death overs, Deepak has made a solid impact and with the high possibility of him being in the ODI playing XI in the upcoming series, he will look to excel even more at the international level.
Deepak has 55 runs and a sole wicket in the 2 ODIs he has played so far and the West Indies series will be a big chance for him to put his case forward for being a reliable all-round option in the 50-over format in the times ahead.
Jamaican Rovman Powell meanwhile showcased some of his batting prowess in this year’s IPL, scoring 250 runs in 14 games, with a highest score of 67*. It is now time for the 28-year-old to replicate some of that hitting form for his national team.
In the 43 ODIs Powell has represented West Indies in, he has a mere 878 runs at an average of just over 23. To go with that, the medium pacer only has three wickets to his name which definitely does not justify the talent the all-rounder possesses.
Scores of 9, 13 and 18 in the recent Bangladesh ODIs also indicate that Powell’s bat has been quiet for some time. With the senior campaigners missing in the Indian bowling attack, Powell will look to press hard and produce some match-winning performances for his side.
The Pacers – Alzarri Joseph vs Prasidh Krishna
Youngster Alzarri Joseph has been one of the big finds for West Indies Cricket, since his international debut in 2016. The raw pacer is exceptional with the ball and has been a major contributor in West Indian success in recent times. The 25-year-old, known for bowling quick with deadly accuracy, has rattled batters at the international level and in leagues like the IPL, the Caribbean Premier League and the Bangladesh Premier League. In IPL 2022, the 25 year old took 7 wickets in 9 matches for the champions – the Gujarat Titans.
Up against a strong Indian side, the Antiguan speed merchant will be looking to make a mark. 78 wickets in 49 matches at an average of 27.65 including a fifer, show that Joseph has been consistently improving and the pacer will look to put the opposition batters under pressure.
Prasidh Krishna meanwhile has emerged as a reliable third bowling option for India in the ODIs in the presence of the seniors. But with the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami out of this series, Prasidh will have bigger responsibilities in the West Indies ODIs. Alongside Mohammed Siraj, Prasidh will be crucial for India and the team will rely on him heavily to come good against an unpredictable West Indian batting line-up.
In the 10 ODIs that Prasidh has played for the country so far, the lanky 26-year-old pacer has been mighty impressive and has an average of just over 21.
In the absence of the seniors, Prasidh will have a great chance to come up with some noteworthy performances and look to impress the selectors and the team management.