West Indies won the toss in the first ODI in Chennai and captain Kieron Pollard decided that his team will bowl first.
In a city known for its heat and humidity, the last two days have been a bit of an anomaly with gloomy weather and intermittent showers welcoming India and West Indies ahead of the first One-Day International to be played at the M.A Chidambaram Stadium on Sunday.
While the teams wouldn’t mind the pleasant weather, it has not exactly helped in terms of preparations with India’s optional practice session being cancelled on Saturday.
However, it shouldn’t matter much for the home team as it will start the overwhelming favourite despite not playing a ODI in the last four months. Add to that, India’s record against West Indies in recent times has been impressive, winning the last nine bilateral ODI series between the two sides.
West Indies’ last triumph over India in a bilateral ODI series came 13 years ago — a 4-1 triumph in 2006 in the Carrbbean.
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Pant can be the ‘X’ factor, says Rathour
India’s batting coach Vikram Rathour laid out a strong case for persisting with wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant despite the youngster’s lean patch with the bat.
Ahead of the first ODI on Sunday, Rathour explained the reasons for the long rope given to the 22-year-old Delhi player.
“The reason why we keep discussing him is that he has got an immense ability. Everybody (the selectors and team management) believes he can be the ‘X’ factor. He is working hard on his game and fitness and we hope he comes good. Once he starts coming good, he can be a match-winner. He has been given an opportunity because he has done well in this format in the past,” said Rathour.
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