Another Champions Trophy, another Windies tour for Team India. This time the circumstances are different as the Indian side will be playing a side which is ranked 9th in the world and unless they get their act together are going to miss out on direct qualification for the 2019 World Cup.
West Indies is on the verge of missing out on direct qualfifcation for the 2019 World Cup.
The Indian side reached the Champions Trophy final but finished as runners-up while the Windies side, who had failed to qualify, found themselves drawing an ODI series with Afghanistan as the tournament played out.
West Indies drew recently concluded series with Afghanistan
As they currently stand, the Windies lack the experience and talent needed to compete at the international level, given they don’t have their best players available to them due to the WICB rules. Only MS Dhoni & Yuvraj Singh on their own have more ODI experience than the entire Windies squad.
“Only MS Dhoni & Yuvraj Singh on their own have more ODI experience than the entire Windies squad.”
India, on the other hand, has sent a similar squad to the West Indies with just two changes - Rishab Pant the hard-hitting southpaw comes in for Rohit Sharma, who has been rested, while the other change sees Kuldeep Yadav, the left arm wrist spinner, come in place for Jasprit Bumrah, who has been touted to make his Test debut in the upcoming Test series in Sri Lanka.
West Indies have the opportunity to improve their cricket and cause an upset over India who might still be reeling from the CT final loss to Pakistan. India on the other hand, will be looking to try out Pant & Yadav, while also tinkering with their lineup to see how they can improve as a side. Many believe that this is a missed chance for India to test their bench strength given the ranking of the opposition, but BCCI did not think the same.
India have included two new names in the squad: Rishab Pant & Kuldeep Yadav
West Indies have only two centurions in their line up, which is a sign of how far behind the side is from the rest of the world. This series is an opportunity for them to improve against one of the better sides in world cricket.
India, on the other hand, would like to keep one eye on the World Cup while selecting players so as to see which player is a better fit. It will be exciting to see how Kohli uses Rishab Pant & Kuldeep Yadav, more so given there is no Anil Kumble as coach for guidance.