West Indies vs India: Rohit Sharma’s team looks for clear answers in ODI World Cup year

By India Today Sports Desk: India will continue their preparations for a home World Cup, fine-tuning their lineup during the upcoming three-match ODI series against West Indies, starting on July 27 in Barbados. Notably, West Indies will host India for three One-Day Internationals (ODIs) on July 27 and 29, at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, and on August 1 at the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba, Trinidad.

The two-match Test series was won by India 1-0. Following the ODIs, the teams will compete in five T20Is, three in the West Indies and two in the United States. The series kicks off India’s unofficial preparations for the Asia Cup in August-September, followed by the World Cup in October-November. It is thus an excellent opportunity for players like Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Sanju Samson, Yuzvendra Chahal, and Umran Malik to shine.

Suryakumar Yadav has an opportunity to establish himself as a contender for the crucial No. 4 spot. More, since there is some doubt about Shreyas Iyer’s fitness. KL Rahul, who is recovering from thigh surgery, is set to be the first-choice wicketkeeper. Kishan and Samson, on the other hand, are vying for the position of second wicketkeeper. Rishabh Pant, who was severely injured in a car accident, may not be able to compete in the World Cup.

Samson, who is frequently overlooked for selection, would hope to build on his impressive batting average of 66 from 11 ODIs. Kishan, who made his Test debut on the tour, is the favourite to be the wicketkeeper in the first ODI. That will leave Samson and Suryakumar vying for a slot in the middle order.

The openers are likely to be Rohit Sharma and Shubman Gill. On the bowling front, Mohammed Siraj leads the assault, with Jaydev Unadkat, Mukesh Kumar, and all-rounder Shardul Thakur providing support. Yuzvendra Chahal, whose star has waned in recent years, will be eager to demonstrate what he can still accomplish with his wrist spin.

The inability to qualify for the World Cup is still stinging the hosts. However, Shimron Hetmyer and Oshane Thomas have returned to the West Indies squad. While one-day internationals (ODIs) will be the most keenly followed format of international cricket in the coming weeks, the West Indies may be wondering what they hope to achieve when they play 50-over cricket. Of course, they’ll want to climb back up after the shocks of the Qualifier in Zimbabwe, but for what?

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