Shai Hope bats at the Oval
The West Indies did not qualify for the Champions Trophy and India was beaten in the finals by Pakistan. However, the Indian camp is not the happiest at the moment and the West Indies with nothing to lose will be going hard to create an upset in the opening match of the Seagrams five-match ODI series at the Queen’s Park Oval Friday.
India has lost three of their last four overseas meetings with the West Indies and the regional side will be looking at this and saying to themselves that they can pull one over this powerful Indian side. The Indians arrived in the West Indies with their own problems, as head coach Anil Kumble has decided not to continue in the role, due to an apparent rift with skipper Virat Kohli.
Middle order batsman Jason Mohammed speaking to the media ahead of the clash said :”It will take a total team effort for us to defeat India. Guys need to step up to the plate and give that special performance. India is one of the best it will be nice to put in some good performances against them.” West Indies has won just two of nine ODI matches this year and one of their losses came at the hands of minnows Afghanistan two weeks ago in St. Lucia.
Mohammed thinks that they can spring a surprise against the Indians :”We have good players and once they play well be can get over any team. What is needed is consistent performances from the boys and this can take us over the line.” West Indies go into the match without their strike bowler Shannon Gabriel and Mohammed is hoping others can make up for this loss. “Losing Shannon makes it a bit difficult but the guys coming in will do a good job and try to replace him.”
On a personal note the right hander who has returned good performances this season said :”I have been fairly consistent with the bat and leading with runs this year and looking to keep it up. Good performances against India will boost your status and I am going out there to look for big runs. Mohammed narrowly missed out on scoring a century against Pakistan in Guyana earlier this season and says he would love to correct that statistic at home. “I will love to score a century in front of my home crowd and in front of my family who has been a great support for me throughout my career.”
The pitch is expected to play much better than the slow ones that were on offer against Pakistan two months ago. The Oval authorities have hired a new groundsman in Shaker Mano and he comes into the job with a very good reputation. He was credited with the excellent strip at UWI SPEC and also at the National Cricket Centre (NCC) in Couva.
West Indies: Evin Lewis, Kieran Powell, Shai Hope (wk), Jonathan Carter, Jason Mohammed, Roston Chase, Rovman Powell, Jason Holder (capt), Ashley Nurse, Alzarri Joseph and Miguel Cummins.
India: Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli (capt), Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav.