West Indies vs India 2019, 1st ODI match prediction: Who will win today's match?
Apart from a set of new faces like Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer and Navdeep Saini, the Indian team looks very similar to the World Cup squad - sans MS Dhoni. It will be intriguing to see how Rishabh Pant goes about his job when he is the first choice wicket-keeper for this series.
With Shikhar Dhawan returning to the playing XI, that automatically means KL Rahul will bat at the No. 4 slot. So it's a showdown between Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer and Kedhar Jadhav for the No. 5 position.
Ravindra Jadeja and Rishabh Pant will complete the batting order.
West Indies on the other hand will be bolstered by the presence of the "Universe Boss'' Chris Gayle in their team. They clearly lacked the right drive and direction in the World Cup, as they had the resources to do well but couldn't capitalize on their opportunities. They will need to improve massively on that front in the series against India.
Jason Holder also has a rather tough task of ensuring his men remain determined and focused on the job at hand after the 0-3 drubbing in the T20I series. The hosts need to go back a little in time to get the necessary inspiration - their last home series against England, where they tied the ODI series 2-2.
But it's an altogether different proposition when they go up against a formidable unit like India. With many experienced players returning to the fold, India will fancy their chances of registering another comprehensive victory on their tour of the Caribbean when they take the field for the first ODI.
Here are the main reasons why India will win this match:
1. Their batting is very strong with the inclusion of Shikhar Dhawan into the team. The Rohit-Dhawan opening partnership has more often than not delivered.
2. The pitch at Guyana will be on the slower side, favoring the spinners. With Ravindra Jadeja performing well of late, India could consider picking Kuldeep Yadav or Yuzvendra Chahal too. That would be a severe test of the West Indies batsmen's ability to handle spin.
3. There is no quality spinner in the opposition team. Fabian Allen is their only viable option; they can play Roston Chase, but that looks unlikely.