West Indies v India: Captaincy carousel continues in ODI series

Shikhar Dhawan to lead side in the absence of star names in three-match series that begins on Friday

Shjikhar Dhawan, right, will lead India in the absence of Rohit Sharma during the ODI series against the West Indies. Reuters
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A packed cricket calendar means India have flown to the Caribbean just four days after completing a full tour of UK.

The men in blue will be competing in a white-ball series against the West Indies, starting with the first of three ODIs in Port of Spain on Friday even as a majority of star players are unavailable.

Fresh from a 2-1 ODI series triumph in England, which followed a similar result in the preceding T20s, the visitors have opted to rest captain Rohit Sharma, key batsman Virat Kohli, wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant, all-rounder Hardik Pandya and pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah for this assignment.

That means players on the fringe will get a chance to play a full series against a quality team, which is rare for Indian cricketers.

Shikhar Dhawan will lead the side with the likes of batsmen Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Deepak Hooda, wicketkeepers Ishan Kishan, Sanju Samson, and pacers Avesh Khan, Prasidh Krishna and Arshdeep Singh hoping to audition successfully for the first-choice team.

India win ODI series against England

With Dhawan leading the 50-over side, India will see a seventh captain taking charge of the team in international cricket. The team's rotation policy, coupled with fitness issues, has meant regular changes to the leadership group. This year, Sharma, Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant and Jasprit Bumrah have captained the side.

West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran will be under pressure to turn his team's fortunes around with his team on a six-match losing streak.

"We have players quite capable of batting for long periods but we need to get it together and hold strong," West Indies coach Phil Simmons said.

"Players like [Shai] Hope and [Kyle] Mayers are Test batsmen so they have the temperament to bat right through the innings."

Pacer Mohammed Siraj and wrist-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal are expected to lead India's bowling attack.

For the home team, the one bit of encouraging news is the return of Jason Holder. Having been rested for series in the Netherlands, Pakistan and the visit by Bangladesh, the all-rounder and former captain will be looked to for inspiration with bat and ball.

All three ODI's will be played at Queen's Park Oval after which the teams switch format but stay in Trinidad for the first T20 International at the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba. From there it's on to St Kitts for two games before the five-match T20 series concludes in the US with two fixtures at Lauderhill in Florida.

Updated: July 21, 2022, 1:22 PM
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