New Delhi: It is a well-known fact that Team India is a different beast altogether in ODI cricket. Nothing confirmed more about this fact than their capitulation in the Test series followed up with absolute domination in the ODI series in the recently concluded England tour.
As Indians gets set for the series against the West Indies, questions of whether this would even be a challenging contest in the run up to the World Cup are being raised. Apart from India playing at home, where they generally perform extremely well, a major reason pointing to this being a one-sided contest is the absence of key players in Caribbean team.
West Indies Cricket Board (WICB) has withdrawn Sunil Narine from the tour of India after the mystery spinner was banned from bowling in the Champions League Twenty20 final due to "illegal" bowling action. The 26-year-old off-break bowler has consistently proven that majority of the batsmen in the IPL have still not been able to decipher him.
Earlier, swashbuckling batsman Chris Gayle was left out of the West Indies' 15-member squad for the one-day series against India as he was recovering from a hamstring injury. The left-hander is one of the most destructive opening batsman in world cricket, especially in the limited overs format.
Gayle and Narine have been very successful in the IPL. They understand the Indian conditions well and have plenty of experience in not only playing on the pitches that will be prepared for the ODI series. In the absence of the duo, the West Indian teams looks a bit thin in the department of match winners.
On their previous three visits, the island boys have not been able to beat India in the ODI series. Can the Dwayne Bravo-led side upset the apple cart this time around even without the presence of key players is something we will find out very soon.
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