Wednesday, 8 October 2014

India vs West Indies 1st ODI at Kochi: West Indies likely XI


West Indies will miss Chris Gayle and Sunil Narine in their playing XI © Getty Images
West Indies will miss Chris Gayle and Sunil Narine in their playing XI © Getty Images
India will face West Indies in the opening encounter of the five-match One-Day International (ODI) series at Kochi on Wednesday. The visitors are missing two of their biggest players in Chris Gayle and Sunil Narine, which lessens their chances of victory. However, the side still has plenty of firepower to beat any team on their day. Sameer Jhatakes a look at the likely combination that West Indies will field.
Top order: Lendl Simmons and Dwayne Smith will open the batting for West Indies. Both players are no strangers to Indian conditions having played the Indian Premier League (IPL). Smith has been a key player for MS Dhoni’s Chennai Super Kings (CSK) this season, and it will be interesting to see if he can replicate that form for his national side too. Like Smith, Lendl Simmons too enjoys Indian pitches and  would look to unsettle Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammad Shami in the early overs. Darren Bravo, who said that he would closely observe the Indian bowlers and have a plan before stepping out onto the field expected to come in at No three.
“In the last couple of years I have played quite a lot against India. The Indian bowling lineup has been changing time and again; there are some new bowlers on the scene now. It’s very important that I look at the clips of their bowlers and try and understand the way they go about things and have a very clear idea what exactly it is that I want to do when I step on the field.”, he was quoted as saying by bcci.tv.
Middle order:Captain Dwayne Bravo and Kieron Pollard are the two all-rounders who will form the crux of the Windies middle-order. Both batsman are capable of hitting plenty of sixes, and MS Dhoni and his bowlers need to plan  and execute well in order to get rid of them. In case any of them fails, the responsibility will lie with Denesh Ramdin and Darren Sammy to complete unfinished business. Ramdin scored 169 in the third ODI against Bangladesh, and even scored 102 in the warm up match against India A.
Lower order:Jason Holder who can hit a cricket ball a long way, is expected to come in at No 8. He had a good season for Barbados Tridents, and even scored a quickfire 52 in the warm up match against India A. His inclusion adds incredible depth to their batting line-up. The lanky Sulieman Benn is expected to fill the spinner’s slot in the absence of Narine. Benn did well against Bangladesh, but it remains to be seen whether he can replicate that performance against the talented Indian batting line-up. Kemar Roach and Ravi Rampaul would occupy the last two slots, and try and do justice to West Indies’ rich fast bowling legacy by picking up some wickets.
West Indies’ likely XI:Lendl Simmons, Dwayne Smith, Darren Bravo, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Kieron Pollard, Darren Sammy, Dwayne Bravo (c), Jason Holder, Sulieman Benn, Kemar Roach, Ravi Rampaul