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Trinidad: Wounded lions will come out for hunting at the Queen's park Oval ground at Port of Spain, as team India, which suffered a devastating defeat against Pakistan in the final of ICC Champions Trophy 2017, will meet a beleaguered West Indies on Friday.
India had suffered a huge 180-run defeat at the hands of arch-rival Pakistan on June 18 to lose the cup. Indian batting had collapsed miserably as they were wrapped up for mere 158 runs after having a sublime run through to the final.
Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah have been rested for the five-match ODI series against West Indies while young Rishabh Pant and Kuldeep Yadav have been chosen in the 15-member squad.
India may have failed to defend the ICC Champions Trophy, but they still are the favourites in the five-match series, and it is not only because of their fantastic performance in the earlier matches. West Indies played its last ODI series against Afghanistan and somehow managed to draw the three-match bilateral series 1-1, with one match being abandoned due to heavy rain.
West Indies had lost the first match by 63 runs at their home ground failing to chase down a small score of 212 runs. Subsequently in the second match, the West Indies bowlers did a tremendous job to restrict Afghanistan to 135 runs only, but their batsmen looked in deep trouble as they could win the match by just 4 wickets in 39.2 overs.
This clearly shows West Indies' batting woes and India would surely have prepared to exploit it well to win the series against them. West Indies batsmen could not survive in front of the leg-spin of Rashid Khan as he plucked 10 wickets in two matches (7/18 and 3/26).
This might be the reason why India has taken Kuldeep Yadav along with Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja to the Caribbean tour. Kedar Jadhav has also proved his worth as a part time slow-arm bowler in the recently concluded Champions Trophy.
Evin Lewis, Kieran Powell, Shai Hope and skipper Jason Holder would be their main assets in terms of batting, while the bowling department would majorly rely on Holder, Rovman Powell, Devendra Bishoo, Ashley Nurse and Alzarri Joseph.
India's batting has been revolving around Virat Kohli over the past few years, but in the recent months, the other batsmen like Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane and Hardik Pandya have stepped up to ease some pressure from the most reliant batsman across the world.
Rishabh Pant's inclusion is also being looked as a great move by the Cricket Pundits as the young Delhi-lad has been pretty explosive in the recent times. The spin duo of Ashwin-Jadeja have been pretty tough to handle for the batsmen over the years, though, they looked out of colour in the recently concluded ICC tournament.
West Indies, however, have a habit of stunning the most established teams of the world, and they surely would be hoping to keep the Indian team in trouble by pulling out a mind-blowing performance in today's match.
So, just hope for some breath-taking performances in the five-match series ahead and keep surfing newstrack.com for fastest coverage of the matches.
The live streaming of all the matches will be provided by Hotstar mobile application and at hotstar.com.