The last time when West Indies won a bilateral ODI series against India, only three members from current Indian squad were active in international cricket – Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni and Dinesh Karthik. India were the runners-up in recently concluded ICC Champions Trophy. On the other hand, West Indies have not won a single out of their last seven bilateral ODI series'.
The last time such a victory occurred was in 2014 against Bangladesh.
India would like to hand opportunities to younger players like Rishabh Pant and Kuldeep Yadav as much as they can against an out-of-form Windies, while the hosts will try to use home advantage to give some fight to Virat Kohli and Co.
India have rested Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah for this tour. Shikhar Dhawan proved his worth again by being the highest run-scorer in ICC Champions Trophy 2017. Kohli has confirmed that Ajinkya Rahane will be the opening partner of Dhawan in the ODI series against Windies.
“Ajinkya (Rahane) will be opening with Shikhar (Dhawan) for sure. He is someone who has done well for us at the top. He has batted in the middle order as well. We see he is more powerful at the opening slot, where he plays his best. So during the course of these five matches, he will definitely open with Shikhar," the Indian captain said ahead of the first ODI against Windies. This might be the last opportunity for Rahane to prove that he is here to stay in the Indian limited-overs international side.
There is a lot at stake for the West Indies in the upcoming ODI series. Their ranking in ODI cricket is ninth currently. Their ranking will not change even if they beat India by 5-0 at the end of the series but they can certainly make players for the future from the series.
West Indies’ ODI record since 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup is lousy. Their win/loss ratio of 0.640 in ODIs post ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 is the worst among all the teams who have played atleast 100 ODIs since then.
West Indies have lost eight out of their last 10 ODIs, which indicates that they have to play tough if they want to defeat India in the upcoming series. On the contrary, India’s record in the last 10 ODIs is 6-4. They would like to be more consistent against West Indies.
Recent form (Last 10 ODIs) – Most recent showed first
Windies: W, L, L, L, W, L, L, L, L, L
India: L, W, W, L, W, L, W, W, W, L
Note: Abandoned and matches with no-result are neglected.
The two teams have played in 17 bilateral ODI series so far, with India winning nine and West Indies eight. Moreover, Windies have lost their last six bilateral ODI engagements against India.
Interestingly, West Indies have won only three bilateral ODI series out of 12 in the last 27 years against India.
Below is the head-to-head ODI record between the two sides from June 1979 to March 2015.
Let’s look at some individual records in West Indies-India ODIs in West Indies.
West Indies: 319 at Kingston in 2009
India: 339/6 at Kingston in 2009
West Indies: 121 at Port of Spain in 1997
India: 123 at Port of Spain in 2002
West Indies: 700 runs by Ramnaresh Sarwan
India: 378 runs by Rohit Sharma
West Indies: 15 wickets by Dwyane Bravo
India: 15 wickets by Ajit Agarkar
Highest individual score:
West Indies: 152* by Desmond Haynes at Georgetown in 1989
India: 131 by Yuvraj Singh at Kingston in 2009
West Indies: Two by Desmond Haynes from eight matches
India: One each by Rahul Dravid, Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh
West Indies: 5/52 by Mervyn Dillon at Port of Spain in 2002
India: 4/31 by Amit Mishra at Port of Spain in 2011
Most of the Indian batsmen have played against West Indies so it will be vital for them to use their experience to beat them comprehensively each time they come on the field.
It will be imperative for Indian ace spinners – Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin to get some form back in limited-overs cricket in the upcoming series against West Indies after an average performance in ICC Champions Trophy.
Only five West Indies players from current squad — Jason Holder, Devendra Bishoo, Kieron Powell, Jonathan Carter and Jason Mohammed have played an ODI against India. The form and experience say India but as Virender Sehwag says “Cricket is a game of uncertainties, prediction fails here”. You never know what this in-experienced West Indies side can bring to the table.