India will have their tails up whey they play West Indies in the first One-day International of the three-match rubber here on Sunday, seeking a 10th straight bilateral ODI series win against the side from the Caribbean.
Both teams will have an eye on the weather after rains in the last 24 hours.
The home team will miss the services of seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who is out with a groin problem and Shikhar Dhawan, who is yet to recover from the injury he suffered during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy tournament.
Virat Kohli’s men have the momentum after winning the T20 series with a splendid batting performance in Mumbai where Rohit Sharma and K L Rahul, who is expected to continue as the opener in the absence of Dhawan, and the captain himself displayed terrific form.
Shreyas Iyer has done well in the opportunities he has received and is likely to be slotted at No. 4. Former captain Anil Kumble, too, has favoured the Mumbai player batting at No.4 in the ODI series against the West Indies.
The focus will be on wicketkeeper-batsman Rishab Pant, who has been under fire for his unimpressive performances with the bat and the big gloves. The first ODI could be another chance for him to justify the faith shown by Kohli and team management.
It will be interesting to see if the spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav reunite after last playing together in the World Cup, as the Chepauk surface is expected to aid the slow bowlers.
* Tips for you to pick your Dream 11 for the series opener:
Captain: Virat Kohli
With 2366 runs to his name across all international formats in 2019, Kohli is currently also the leading run-scorer in the world in the current year. Against West Indies, in his last nine innings alone, he’s made six hundreds and 870 runs at an average of 174.
Vice-Captain: Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma is the 2nd highest run-getter in ODIs in 2019. In last 25 matches, he has 1232 runs at an average 53.56. He has 5 hundreds in his last 11 innings.
Shreyas Iyer is the front-runner for the No.4 position in the Indian team. The youngster had hit 71 and 65 in the only two ODI innings he played in the West Indies in August.
Shai Hope averages 60.54 in his last 41 innings that includes six centuries and 10 half-centuries.
The wicket-keeper batsman is in a red-hot form and you cannot just ignore him. He scored two half-centuries in the recently concluded T20I series against West Indies. He also hit 48 against the West Indies the last time they played an ODI.
Given that the Chepauk track aids spinner, Yuzvendra Chahal should be a must pick as the wrist-spinner has never gone wicketless against West Indies.
Dream XI: Dream XI: Virat Kohli, Nicholas Pooran, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Shai Hope, Roston Chase, Ravindra Jadeja, Sheldon Cottrell, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami
India: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wk), Shivam Dube, Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Deepak Chahar, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur.
West Indies: Kieron Pollard (c), Sunil Ambris, Shai Hope (wk), Khary Pierre, Roston Chase, Alzarri Joseph, Sheldon Cottrell, Brandon King, Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Romario Shepherd, Jason Holder, Keemo Paul, Hayden Walsh Jr.