On the back of white-ball series wins against England, a young and confident Indian side look to pocket another series win against the West Indies.
As for hosts, under their new leader Nicholas Pooran, apart from their three matches against Netherlands, the West Indies haven’t won a game against a major team (IND – 2 Losses, PAK – 3 Losses and BAN – 3 losses).
India eye a record 12th consecutive series win
As mentioned, the West Indies haven’t won a single ODI bilateral series against India since 2007. When India toured the West Indies in 2006, the hosts had won their last series (4-1). Post that, since 2007, India have won all the 11 bilateral series. If India manage to win this, they will be the first team to win 12 consecutive ODI bilateral series against a team.
In addition, West Indies have lost four bilateral series on the trot in their backyard against India. This is the joint most for a team against the West Indies in the Caribbean. Pakistan, from 2005 to date, have also won four.
Dhawan adds to the list of captains
Just like apes jump branches to branches, India’s captaincy is jumping between players. Starting from KL Rahul in the second Test against South Africa, India have had six different captains in 11 series played across formats.
Shikhar Dhawan who is selected to lead India in the ODI series against West Indies, will be the seventh International captain for India this year. In no other calendar year have India had as many captains as 2022. Overall, only Sri Lanka in 2017, had seven different captains.
A low scoring country
Post the 2019 ODI World Cup, West Indies hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for batters. A world in which, 300+ totals are a common feat, there hasn’t been a single one in 18 matches. India’s total of 279/7 in 2019 in Port of Spain is the highest since 15th July 2019.
In this period, teams have scored at a run rate of 4.87, which is the lowest in a country that has hosted matches between the top 10 ranked nations (UAE has hosted only three matches between top 10 ranked nations). In addition, batting teams have averaged 27.92, which is also the lowest in a host country.
This means, bowlers rejoice bowling in the West Indies. In the aforementioned time, West Indies is the only host nation where bowlers average less than 30. In terms of bowling strike rate, only in England (34.9), bowlers have a better ratio than in West Indies (36.0).
One dimensional batting from West Indies
The West Indian team batters are known for their brutal power, and them being the only team to hit 200+ sixes post the 2019 WC is a testimony of it.
However, their non-boundary scoring abilities has been a big question mark. In this time, West Indies have scored only 33.5 percent of runs through non-boundary runs (1s, 2s & 3s). This is the lowest for a top 10 ranked team nation. To add more, their batters have played 57.8 percent of dot balls. Only Afghanistan have played more (58.3%).
West Indies batting in a muddle
Regardless of their non-boundary scoring abilities, West Indies’ whole batting set-up has struggled. In ODI’s post the 2019 WC, West Indies batters have averaged 26.6, which is the lowest among the top 10 ranked teams.
Irrespective of hitting those many boundaries, West Indies batters have an overall strike rate of 78.53. Only Afghanistan batters have a poorer strike rate (76.4). Another example of their one-dimensional batting. To their worst, they have lost a wicket every 33.8 balls, the worst of all teams.
A team that struggles in home conditions
Post the 2019 WC, West Indies have lost more games than winning at home. Out of their eight wins, four have come against Ireland, three against Sri Lanka and one against Australia.
In this period, they are the only team among the top 10 ten ranked nations to have a win/loss ratio of less than 1 (0.888). In their last five matches at home, they have lost all five, two losses against Ireland and three against Bangladesh.
Not a bright start to Pooran’s captaincy
Earlier this year, Kieron Pollard announced his International retirement after the first ODI against India. Since then, Pooran has taken over the reins. But, the stylish left-hander hasn’t had the start he would have expected.
In his 11-match stint, Pooran has won three matches and lost eight. All those three wins came against the Netherlands. Against the top 10 teams, he is yet to open his account. Among West Indian captains, only Shivnarine Chanderpaul (9 percent) and Carl Hooper (18.1 percent), had a lower win percentage than Pooran (27.2 percent) in their first 11 matches. At home, he has lost all three, making him the third captain after Chanderpaul and Floyd Reifer to lose all of their first three home ODIs.
Dhawan’s least favorite country and opponent
One among the top 10 run scores of India, Dhawan, has great numbers against all teams. But when it comes to playing against the West Indies, or to be precise playing in the West Indies, his numbers drop to the lowest point.
Dhawan has played three-plus ODIs across 10 countries. In none of the other nine, Dhawan averages less than 35. But when playing in the West Indies, his average plummets to 25.18 in 16 innings, which is his lowest in the country. Overall, he averages 32.46 against the West Indies in ODIs. This is his personal lowest against an opponent whom he has batted two-plus innings.
Hope not at his best
Shai Hope, one of West Indies’ most consistent batter in this format, has hit a lean patch this year. He has had two big scores (127 vs PAK in Multan and 119* vs NED in Amstelveen). But, in the remaining 13 innings, he has only one 50+ score and 12 scores of below 30. His average this year has come down to 33.7 in 15 innings. Since 2018 in ODIs, this is the first time his average has dropped below 45.
To make things worse, Hope has had contrasting records at home compared to away/neutral matches. In 57 innings outside home, he has scored close to 3000 runs at an average of 60.75. Whereas, in 36 innings at home, he averages only 33.97. Among West Indian batters who have scored 1000+ runs at home and outside, only five have a negative difference ratio and Hope’s ratio of -26.78 is the worst.