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Windies v India, 1st ODI: Windies Predicted XI

That the current Windies players aren’t in great touch will only make the task harder for them when they take the field on June 23.

Ashley Nurse
Ashley Nurse. (Photo by RANDY BROOKS/AFP/Getty Images)

The last ODI that the Windies played, they won by 4 wickets with more than 10 overs to spare. Their opponents Afghanistan failed to replicate their brilliance they’d shown in their previous encounter with the Windies. The challenge for Jason Holder’s men has now increased by manifold as they face the head honchos of world cricket, India.

To make matters worse for the home team, they are still without the services of the big guns, who add the much-needed Caribbean flavor to the IPL. The Pollards, the Narines, the Bravos and the Russells are sitting comfortably in their sofas, yet to receive a call-up to don national colors.

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The Windies have thus stuck to their 13 men who played Afghanistan just over a week ago. Not having faced the Indians in international cricket of late will certainly be a disadvantage for the newcomers in the Windies team. However, the hosts must put their best foot forward as the ODI series against India is their last realistic chance to make the cut for the 2019 World Cup, and avoid an awkward qualification round with the associate nations.

There’s a lot at stake for the Windies as they take on India in the first of 5 ODIs at Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad and Tobago. Here’s a look at the Windies’ predicted XI:

Openers (Evin Lewis, Kieran Powell)

Concerns for the Windies up front – neither Evin Lewis nor Kieran Powell have crossed the 40-run mark in the last 5 ODIs that they have played. They didn’t have a lucrative ODI series against Afghanistan, Lewis being the slightly better amongst the two with the highest score of 33. The Windies openers will have to play a different brand of cricket if they are to counter India’s reliable pacers.

Lewis has similarities with Chris Gayle in terms of his approach to the game being T20-esque. Like Gayle, Lewis’ best has been showcased in T20 cricket. Kieran Powell, on the other hand, can also entertain crowds with his aggressive strokeplay. The two have to bring their best to the table against a sturdy Indian bowling line-up.

Middle order (Shai Hope, Jonathan Carter and Jason Mohammed)

The Windies middle order has talent, promise and Hope as well. Shai Hope has shown glimpses of brilliance in the Test series against Pakistan and also recorded an unbeaten 48 against Afghanistan to level the 3-match ODI series. The 23-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman has age by his side and will be a vital element for the Windies if they are to have any success.

Despite being a remarkable presence at the domestic level, Jonathan Carter hasn’t had any success whatsoever in international cricket of late. Carter has once again slipped into his old habit of blotching promising starts into more substantial scores. The left-hander can nevertheless provide support to the Windies middle order on his days. Carter has also developed into a useful medium pacer.

Jason Mohammed took Pakistan by storm when he single-handedly gunned down a target of 309 with an unbeaten 58-ball 91. Mohammed has since had a fairly quiet stint in the Windies limited-overs team, save a 59 which came two games after his heroic 91. The Windies have however depended on the hard-hitting Jason Mohammed to finish innings and games off for them. Mohammed will indeed hope he can bring on the fireworks against the Indians.

All-rounders (Roston Chase, Rovman Powell and Jason Holder)

The Windies have sufficient reason to dub Roston Chase their Crisis Management Man. Chase has silently contributed to the team’s partial success in a riveting Test series against Pakistan. Although he didn’t show up in the Afghanistan one-dayers, it’s only a matter of time before Roston Chase gets rooted to the crease.

All-rounder Rovman Powell is rightfully called the ‘Little Andre Russell’, and he embraces the comparison with the Muscle. He didn’t have much to show for in the ODI and T20I series against Afghanistan, and his last notable knock dates back to February 2017. Powell, however, has the ability to hit the ball out of the park in the death overs, and can also offer a few overs of medium pace.

The skipper Jason Holder is the most experienced in the current Windies side, and a lot will depend on him during the important series against India. Holder bowled a decent spell against Afghanistan in the 2nd ODI, bagging two wickets from his 9 overs. He was particularly impressive during the Pakistan Test series, during which he contributed with both bat and ball. Holder’s captaincy will, however, be tested as the Windies face a strong Indian contingent.

Bowlers (Ashley Nurse, Alzarri Joseph and Shannon Gabriel)

Ashley Nurse maintained an economy of 3.47, apart from dismissing two Afghan batsmen in the 2nd ODI. The right arm off-break bowler has regularly been amongst the wickets, his best figures of 4/62 coming as recently as April 2017 against Pakistan. Don’t forget, he can also use the long handle to great effect.

The pacers have perhaps been the only bright spot of late for the Windies. The duo of Shannon Gabriel and Alzarri Joseph have consistently provided the breakthroughs when the team has needed them. Both caused trouble for the Pakistanis in the Test series and chipped in with wickets against Afghanistan as well. Gabriel and Joseph bagged two wickets apiece in the second one-dayer against Afghanistan which the Windies won convincingly.

That the current Windies players aren’t in great touch will only make the task harder for them when they take the field on June 23. That being said, the Windies are a team that has surprises as their theme, and the Indians might well be in line for one.

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