Against World No. 9 West Indies, who had to go through the qualifiers for 2019 World Cup, World No. 1 India begin their final round of preparation for next year's showpiece event hoping to fix whatever anomalies there may be. The two play the first of the five ODIs at the Bhupen Hazarika Stadium on Sunday.
According to skipper Virat Kohli, things are hunky dory with just the No. 4 batting spot a point of bother. Perhaps an equal cause of worry is the lack of a strong finisher. Follow the live updates from the India-West Indies game here: 10:00 hrs IST Hello and welcome A formidable India will hope to get more answers for their unresolved middle-order puzzle when they take on a reeling West Indies in the five-match ODI series starting on Sunday, ticking off the home team's countdown to the 2019 World Cup.
The World Cup in England is less than eight months away and India have 18-odd games left to decide their middle order, mainly the number four position where many have been tried but with little success. The series will also mark captain Virat Kohli's return to white-ball cricket as he had taken a much needed break during the team's triumphant campaign in Asia Cup. Kohli is expected try out a new combination in the middle order that will see Rishabh Pant make his ODI debut, following his exploits in the longest format.
The focus once again will be on MS Dhoni, whose batting ability is on the wane and with limited playing time in the middle, the job gets only tougher for the legendary cricketer. However, chief selector MSK Prasad has time and again said that Dhoni remains the first choice wicketkeeper at least till the World Cup.
India Squad: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (c), Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni (wk), Rishabh Pant, Ravindra Jadeja, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, K Khaleel Ahmed, Yuzvendra Chahal
Windies Squad: Kieran Powell, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Shai Hope (wk), Shimron Hetmyer, Marlon Samuels, Rovman Powell, Jason Holder (c), Ashley Nurse, Devendra Bishoo, Kemar Roach, Oshane Thomas