India start as big favourites to win the ODI series between them and the touring West Indies team. However, cricket is a game of glorious uncertainties and a West Indian win won't be as big a surprise as some of the other unexpected results over the years.
While West Indies may not have the towering personality of Chris Gayle to help them, there is enough talent in the squad to give India a run for their money. In 2018, when the Windies played a 5-match series in this country, they were able to win on and tie one of the games.
The current West Indies team has massive potential in the batting department. Shai Hope scored a hundred and a near-hundred in the 2018 series. He should be the leading batsman again due to his quality.
But he isn't the only one. Few young players are as exciting to watch as Shimron Hetmyer. Possessed with left-hander's elegance and the brutal power characteristic of Caribbean players, he should also make a mark. The only problem with him is his impetuosity. He tends to get too greedy at times and play too many shots. If he can moderate his aggression, big things are in store for him.
Then there is Nicholas Pooran who showed his ability in the T20Is also. He too has a big opportunity to make a name. The likes of Evin Lewis and Sunil Ambris will be tested. The latter has scored runs against weaker opposition but is yet to prove himself against tougher teams. Evin Lewis needs to show that his T20 success can be translated into ODI performances also.
Roston Chase and Kieron Pollard are the two senior names in the line-up. Chase may play a very important role because he is one of the better players of spin bowling – something he showed during the ODI series against Afghanistan. Pollard's explosiveness is well documented.
The bowling is where the Windies seem a bit thin. Their spin-bowling attack is without much substance. Hayden Walsh wasn't that threatening during the T20I series. To expect Roston Chase to make an impact would be highly optimistic.
The pace attack has some quality. Sheldon Cottrell has been very good in recent months but bowling in India on flat pitches will be a different challenge altogether. He would need a lot of help from Jason Holder. Having been a liability earlier, Holder has turned into a very dependable performer, especially in Tests.
Here also, the young bowlers such as Keemo Paul, Alzarri Joseph and Romario Shephard will be watched keenly. Alzarri made a mark in the IPL, hence much would be expected of him.
The best chance for West Indies would be to bat first and put up a big score. Defending any score would be difficult but if they could, somehow, extract one great performance from one of their bowlers, things could work out for them.