India, who are still licking the wounds incurred in the final of the Champions Trophy that they lost to arch-rivals Pakistan a week ago, will take on the West Indies in the second of the five-game one-day international series at the Queen's Park Oval in Port of Spain on Sunday, June 25.
The first game was washed out when India were looking favourites to pile up a huge total against the hosts.
It will be the 118th game between the two two-time world champions and the Caribbeans have a lead of seven games over the visitors at the moment (60-53).
The second ODI takes place on the 34th anniversary of Kapil's Devils' famous win
Coincidentally, Sunday also happens to be the 34th anniversary of the famous victory of India in the 1983 Prudential World Cup under the leadership of Kapil Dev. On June 25 that year, India had shattered the Caribbeans' dream of making a hat-trick of world cup title wins by defeating them by 43 runs in a low-scoring final at the Lord's. It was also a feat which had turned the course of sports in India, cricket in particular.
Today, the West Indies are just a shadow of their past while India are one of the top-ranked teams in the world. The Caribbeans' current form is so poor that they not only could qualify for the Champions Trophy but even could not win a one-day series against Afghanistan, one of the two newest entrants in Test cricket. Consider this to the team it was in the 1960s till the 1980s when everybody else virtually trembled at the thought of facing their giant bowlers.
The West Indies have beaten India in a bilateral series last time in 2006, more than a decade earlier, and some of those matches were really close. India have beaten the Caribbeans in six bilateral series held since then besides in many multi-lateral tournaments, including the World Cup.
The two don't come even for a close comparison in today's times although a few Caribbean talents earn immense applause during their stints in the Indian Premier League, the summer T20 cricket carnival held every year. The West Indies are ranked eighth in Tests at the moment, ninth in one-day internationals and fifth in T20s although they are the reigning world champions in the shortest format.
The lifting of the Prudential World Cup by Kapil's Devils on this day 34 years ago had marked a new beginning in Indian cricket while the glorious days of West Indian cricket were slowly reaching their end because of the growing age of the giants and also other socio-economic factors that the advent of globalisation had brought with it.
The current India-West Indies series seems to be a dull draw which promises very little excitement but a big opportunity for the Indian batsmen to better their figures. And this fall in glamour of what was seen as one of the biggest cricketing rivalries a few decades ago is not a good advertisement for cricket.