MA Chidambaram Stadium, Chennai
December 15, Sunday; 13:30 IST
The main picture
At the post-match presentation ceremony after the final Twenty20 International, West Indies captain Kieron Pollard said his team were a “work in progress” and have positives to take from the 2-1 series defeat. West Indies competed hard and went toe-to-toe with an Indian T20 side who themselves are trying to find a method that will help them succeed as consistently as in the ODI and Test formats. Come Sunday for the start of the ODI series, the onus will again be on the visitor to make it a contest and find a way against the more experienced, well-balanced and resourceful Indian one-day outfit.
In many ways, the West Indies must translate the intensity of their performances in the T20Is and adapt to the more sedate pace of 50-overs cricket. Adapting to the pace of one-day cricket is their achilles heel and it was exposed time and again at the 2019 World Cup, where the Jason Holder-led team managed to get on top of their opposition (Australia, Sri Lanka, New Zealand, no less) but lacked the temperament and knowhow to get the job done.
Of course, West Indies’s ODI batting line-up is markedly different with the return of Shai Hope, Roston Chase, Sunil Ambris among others, while the bowling attack remains much the same from the T20Is. In the three-match ODI series against Afghanistan last month, Hope opened the batting alongside Evin Lewis. Whether the touring West Indies stick to that batting order remains to be seen, though the knee injury to Lewis is likely to bring Brandon King into the picture for one of the opening slots.
India have a couple of new faces in their squad, with Shivam Dube picked as a seam-bowling, batting all-rounder and Mayank Agarwal replacing the injured Shikhar Dhawan. Dhawan’s absence is another opportunity for KL Rahul to produce substantial scores in his favourite batting position and move up the pecking order in the format. Shreyas Iyer and Manish Pandey are the incumbent No. 4 batsmen in the squad and Rahul needs no reminding of the opportunity that’s come knocking to put pressure on the team management.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, too, has been ruled out of the three-match ODI series with a groin injury that he reportedly sustained during the T20I series. Shardul Thakur has been named as his replacement.
MA Chidambaram Stadium pitch report and weather forecast
From being one of the better pitches in the country for batting, the Chepauk pitch has become markedly slower over the years. The bounce isn’t what it used to be and the batsmen are rarely hurried by the pace off the surface. For Sunday’s ODI, though, the prevailing overcast conditions and the moisture on the surface are likely to aid swing and seam bowling. For the team winning the toss, batting second is the way to go considering the possibility of dew in the second half of the match.
The weather forecast says that Sunday (December 15) will be cloudy with a 25 per cent chance of precipitation in the evening.
India vs West Indies 1st ODI playing 11
Predicted India playing 11 for 1st ODI: 1 Virat Kohli (c), 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 KL Rahul, 4 Shreyas Iyer, 5 Rishabh Pant, 6 Kedar Jadhav, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Deepak Chahar, 9 Mohammed Shami, 10 Yuzvendra Chahal, 11 Kuldeep Yadav
Predicted West Indies playing 11 for 1st ODI: 1 Kieron Pollard (c), 2 Brandon King, 3 Shai Hope, 4 Roston Chase, 5 Shimron Hetmyer, 6 Nicholas Pooran, 7 Jason Holder, 8 Sheldon Cottrell, 9 Hayden Walsh Jr, 10 Khary Pierre, 11 Alzarri Joseph/Romario Shepherd
India vs West Indies 1st ODI prediction
Despite the lack of experience in their squad, West Indies have the variety in their bowling attack and a combination of flair and substance in their batting line-up to challenge India. India themselves aren’t at full-strength, but in home conditions, they will be confident and have the resources to beat their opponent over 100 overs.
India vs West Indies 1st ODI telecast channel
The first One-Day International between India and the West Indies will be aired on the Star Sports Network, while Hotstar will provide the live stream.