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India to start WC preparation with West Indies series

India to start WC preparation with West Indies series

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  21 Oct 2018 10:29 AM GMT

India to start WC preparation with West Indies series

ACA stadium, Barspara ready to host first ODI: Pant likely to debut today

Our Sports Reporter

GUWAHATI: Picturesque ACA stadium, Barspara is finally all set to host the first ODI game. India will take on West Indies in the first game of five-match ODI Series on Sunday. The match will kick off at 1-30 pm.

Guwahati earlier allotted 16 ODI, two of them were not held because of different reason, and venue of all the games was at the Nehru stadium. It will be the first occasion when the ODI match will be shifted to ACA Stadium Barsapara.

India, who drubbed West Indies 2-0 in Two Test series, will start favourite in this series too. The pitch is expected to be batsmen friendly unless there is no cloud disturbance.

India already announced first XII for the game and wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant is all set to make his ODI debut in Guwahati.

The 21-year-old Pant, who cracked a ton at the Oval in his debut series against England, continued his rich form with consecutive scores of 92 against the West Indies in the two-match Test series and are almost final to make debut. However Dhoni will keep the wicket.

This series will also see skipper Virat Kohli making the return to the fold after taking a break during the Asia Cup which India won.

Captain Kohli will be leading a strong Indian line-up with Rohit Sharma as his deputy. Apart from the duo, Shikhar Dhawan and Ambati Rayudu form the Indian batting top-order. Mohammad Shami and Umesh Yadav are most likely to form the pace attack in the first ODI and they will be supported by spinners Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja.

Talking to the media persons captain Kohli today hinted that the Team can make a few experiment prior to the start of Australia series. “Batting order could be shuffled according to the situation of the game in different matches.”

He also praised young left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed, who would likely be the 12th man for Sunday’s match. “It’s good to see someone coming up the ranks after a long time since the retirement of Zaheer Khan and Ashish Nehra.

We thought bringing a left-arm pacer into the mix will give us enough variety. He has the ability to swing both ways and get good bounce as well. He also bowls at a decent pace,” the captain added.

The tourists are expected to put up a better show in this format of game unlike the Tests. But the withdrawal of big-hitting opener Evin Lewis from the ODI series can make big problem to the side which is already missing a few big names like Chris Gayle and Andre Russell.

To make matters worse, coach Stuart Law will not be allowed in the dressing room in the first two ODIs due to a breach of ICC’s code of conduct.

West Indies will bank on veteran Marlon Samuels, captain and all-rounder Jason Holder and pacer Kemar Roach. The squad features three uncapped players — opener Chandrapaul Hemraj, all-rounder Fabian Allen and pacer Oshane Thomas.

Meanwhile Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal and Governor Jagdish Mukhi will attend the match, while former India captain and the President of Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) Sourav Ganguly has been invited by the ACA as a guest of honour.

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