WI vs IND | 3 Players From West Indies That Can Threaten India

image-lkkv1m9jHetmyer is known for his explosive batting style (Twitter)

One-day cricket and West Indies cricket have, quite sadly, been a talent of disgruntlement for the Caribbean fans especially where 2023 is concerned. The team notorious for exhibiting sudden changes and often random or extreme chops and replacements finds itself competing against what’s clearly a strong Indian lineup whilst missing out on some big names; those that are unavailable for selection. Think Holder, think Pooran. 

At a time when the two-time world cup winners are no longer even in contention of participating in the mother of all one-day battles, can some pride be salvaged courtesy of a strong performance against the touring Indians? 

What can the West Indies, with players like the returning Oshane Thomas, Kyle Mayers, Brandon King, Gudakesh Motie and company do against Rohit Sharma’s army of irrepressible and impressive talents? 

We don’t really know for sure. But what one notes is that there are three players, in particular, that hold the key to counter what’ll likely be a problem-causing Indian set up: 

Shimron Hetmyer

image-lkkuw275Hetmyer has returned to ODI fold after a year (Twitter)

Shimron Hetmyer’s return to West Indian colours is perhaps just as positive a news as spotting that rainbow after a day of glorious rain and shine. 

In some ways, it’s just what the doctor ordered; few players in the current West Indies squad have had a notable record against India and from the set of batting talents available, very few are good players against spin. 

One saw in the recent World Cup qualifiers, how the West Indians, barring Shai Hope and Nicholas Pooran (being the only exceptions), suffered against the turning deliveries finding themselves regularly beaten for turn and flight. 

Hetmyer offers confidence and belief that the probing Indian attack can be handled provided one applies himself. 

A third of his one day runs have come against Rohit Sharma’s team; 500 runs to be precise. 

Moreover, it was during 2019 one dayers against India that the famous Guyanese smacked a career best knock of 139, which came at a sky rocketing scoring rate. 

When needed Hetmyer can hold an end together, attack spinners and medium pacers with rich aplomb and continue to accelerate despite the scoreboard pressure. 

While his career is still, even after half a decade of representing West Indies, a product under development, the man widely noted for wearing the famous Caribbean burgundy hat has the ability to take the game away from the opposition and often, single handedly.  

It’s precisely the batting line up featuring King, Mayers and Hope needs. Perhaps even more so now that Pooran isn’t a part of the white ball campaigns. 

Alzarri Joseph

image-lkkuz48pJoseph has 101 wickets in ODI format (AP Photo)

Just in case if one didn’t notice, the lanky Antiguan has an intricate relationship with india as an opponent. But how’s that. 

It was against India that Alzarri Joseph had made his Test debut (taking a three for in the game) as also his T20I debut. 

However, as a matter of fact, his most recent outings against the sub continental giants didn’t really turn out to be that productive. 

Who’d have ever thought that Joseph would actually emerge with a solitary wicket in the recently held Tests (taking 1 wicket at Dominica) while going absolutely wicketless in the most recent Trinidad Test where he conceded no fewer than 134 runs on the whole? 

But as the formats changed and a new day approaches, the quickster would note that he’s got a massive role to play. That’s primarily because on current strength, he’s the most sought after and capable fast bowling option available for the West Indies. 

Time for the fastest West Indian to get to one hundred wickets to aim for the stumps and bowl with nagging pace and accuracy. 

But what won’t come in quite handy is that over reliance with the short ball that often forms part of Alzarri’s game plan; something he sticks with despite being sorted by the batters. 

Together with Jayden Seales and Oshane Thomas, Joseph’s accuracy and expedience promises some respite for the hosts after the mediocre showing in Tests. 

Shai Hope

image-lkkv0wj5Shai Hope will 

Easily and convincingly, the best West Indian batter in the side, as Shai Hope prepares to face what’s clearly a very competitive Indian stable, he’d likely rewind to the events that happened when he played his one hundredth one day international. 

Not only did he play that milestone game against India, he scored a century wherein he combined elegance and power. 

But that was the last year around. Despite the massive disappointments surrounding the West Indies cricket’s waning fortunes in the one day arena, Hope’s kept up the ante of runs in 2023 come what may. 

He began his one day captaincy assignment with a century in his maiden game as the side’s leader and that too, against South Africa in South Africa. 

Later, he struck a century while Pooran struck two in the World Cup qualifiers. 

Runs have been flowing from his bat, regardless of Windies falling adrift from victories. 

As the determined and classy right handed gears up for yet another indian challenge, he would hope to bring about a West Indian odyssey. 

Not only is he 123 runs away from scoring 1,000 one day runs against India, Hope, who plays for the team not for milestones, is also 171 shy of completing 5,000 one day career runs. 

That he’s got no Holder and no Pooran to provide ample match winning contributions, it’s likely that l much of the responsibility to score for the team will fall down on his shoulders. 

So will Shai Hope disappoint fans or dispatch the bowlers?