With the test series done and dusted, India and the West Indies clash in the first of five ODIs, at Cuttack, on Tuesday, November 29, 2011.
Tendulkar and Dhoni have been rested for the five-match ODI series, with an eye on the upcoming tour of Australia, and that presents an opportunity for young batsmen like Rahane and Rohit Sharma to stand up to be counted. Rahane could find favour ahead of Sharma, with Sehwag, Gambhir, Kohli and Raina likely to feature, along side keeper Parthiv Patel, with Jadeja bringing up the rear of the batting line-up.
India could play three seamers and a lone spinner, in Ashwin. Vinay Kumar could be joined in the attack by Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron, affording both young bowlers an opportunity to showcase their wares ahead of the Australia tour. Ahead of the game, Praveen Kumar has been ruled out owing to a chest injury and has been replaced in the squad by Abhimanyu Mithun.
Kieron Pollard will bolster the West Indies batting that is likely to have Lendl Simmons opening the batting with Adrian Barath. With Darren Bravo striking brilliant form in the test series, the team will rely on the left-hander to lend hid weight to the innings when the visitors bat. The bowling was impressive in the test series, especially in the way the West Indians applied themselves to a plan of bowling a steady line. Rampaul was the pick of the bowlers and is capable of giving his side an early breakthrough. While Fidel Edwards has been replaced by Kemar Roach to share the new ball with Rampaul, the absence of Bishoo could hurt the Caribbean squad as the leg spinner has proved his worth in all forms of the game. Pollard is a more than useful bowler and could get a full quota of 10 overs.
As in the test series, the visitors will be best served by batting first and putting up the runs on the board. Additionally, chasing under the lights hasn’t proved to be an easy option, in the sub-continent. That said, India must go into the game as firm favourites, with the depth of their batting beginning with skipper Virender Sehwag, at the top of the order.
India squad: Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Parthiv Patel, R Ashwin, Vinay Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Varun Aaron, Rohit Sharma, Manoj Tiwary, Rahul Sharma
West Indies squad: Darren Sammy, Lendl Simmons, Adrian Barath, Danza Hyatt, Marlon Samuels, Darren Bravo, Denesh Ramdin, Kieron Pollard, Andre Russell, Anthony Martin, Jason Mohammed, Sunil Narine, Kieran Powell, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach
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An avid writer, on an eclectic range of subjects, he brings to bear editorial experience garnered with a national newspaper in South-East Asia. He also has sportscasting experience, as a cricket commentator, and his passion for sport extends beyond Cricket, to Football, Tennis, and Olympic Sports.