India vs West Indies, 1st ODI: 5 Indian players to watch out for in today's clash against the Caribbeans

Though the Indian squad looks pretty good and it's a full-strength Indian side, however, the eyes will especially be on these players in this bilateral series

Leaving the bitter memories of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017 finals behind, Team India is all set to play its first ODI against West Indies at Port of Spain in Trinidad. The Indian team had a perfect start in the recently concluded world tournament, however, in the finals, they have to face a humiliating defeat to the arch-rivals. And now, they are set to face almost a new West Indies squad with remarkable players.

As far as the Indian side is concerned, it looks a bit different from the one which was deployed to England. The inclusion of youngster Rishabh Pant and Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav is something new while Rohit Sharma will miss out the tournament. Though the Indian squad looks pretty good and it’s a full-strength Indian side, however, the eyes will especially be on these players in this bilateral series.

Rishabh Pant

After performing extremely well in the 10th edition of the Indian Premier League, Rishabh Pant was included in the backup squad for ICC Champions Trophy 2017. Finally, he got the ODI call for this series in West Indies and now, the nation wants to see this young cricketing talent to perform on the Caribbean soil. With Rohit Sharma not present in the team, there are fair chances that skipper Virat Kohli may include this phenomenal batsman in the playing XI.

In the recently concluded season of the IPL, Rishabh Pant scored a total of 366 runs and knocked 2 half-centuries.

Shikhar Dhawan

It won’t be wrong if we call him Mr ICC Tournamnets. He was getting trolled for his performance ahead of the ICC Champions Trophy when his presence was confirmed in the 15-men squad. As the tournament commenced, he shut all his haters down through his bat and became the highest run-getter of this world tournament consecutively for the second time.

And now, it has to be seen whether he performs with the same intensity in Carribean conditions. His partner Rohit Sharma is not in the team while the absence of KL Rahul will also put a lot of responsibilities on Shikhar’s shoulder to take off well while opening the inning.

Hardik Pandya

The name which has gained the trust of billions of Indians after he smashed those huge sixes in the final game against Pakistan in London. He was initially picked up last year in the T20 series against Australia followed by the World T20. For the first time, he was inducted in the ODI squad and guess what, he perfectly performed his job. He performed fairly with the ball but phenomenally with his bat. He hit the longest six of the entire tournament – 107 metres.

His fiery knock of 76 runs off 43 balls in the final game was appreciated by the skipper as well. Virat stated that Hardik is a player who could win the games for India whenever required. And now, it would be exciting to watch Pandya repeating his vigorous knock against the West Indies XI.

Kuldeep Yadav

The most favourite choice of any cricket team when it comes to picking up a Chinaman bowler. Kuldeep was a part of the team in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy against Australia. He appeared in the last Test held in Dharamshala and performed exceptionally well by taking 4 important wickets in the game. He was also included in the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) where he was considered as one of the key players in the team.

He got his ODI call for India’s tour to West Indies and it will be good to see him debuting and bamboozling the Caribbean batsmen with his spin deliveries.

Ajinkya Rahane

After the Border-Gavaskar Trophy,  Ajinkya Rahane, a.k.a Jinx, was a bit quiet with his bat. He was deployed in the opening slot while playing for the Rising Pune Supergiant in the IPL 2017. He got the entry in the 15-member squad for the Champions Trophy but couldn’t do anything effective in the practice games. Later, he was benched throughout the Champions Trophy and didn’t play a single game for India.

But this time, in the game against West Indies, Rahne could be utilised in the opening slot with Shikhar Dhawan as Rohit Sharma is not available. Skipper Kohli has also intimated that Jinx may open the inning. Also, it would be a fine chance for him to prove and get back his form.

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