The Indian ODI squad for the series against West Indies has been announced and there has been one major replacement, with Mayank Agarwal replacing Shikhar Dhawan in the squad. Dhawan sustained a knee injury in the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy 2019 and missed the Twenty20 International series against West Indies. According to a statement in the BCCI, Dhawan had suffered a deep cut on his left knee during a Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy game against Maharashtra in Surat. The BCCI Medical Team feels that while Dhawan’s stitches are off and his wound is healing gradually, he still needs some more time before he regains full match fitness.
This is the second time Agarwal has been called in as a replacement for a top-order batsman in the Indian cricket team. The first occurrence was during the World Cup when he replaced allrounder Vijay Shankar, who had picked a toe injury. The selectors, at that time, had explained the decision as providing top-order back-up, with Dhawan having already been ruled out and KL Rahul having suffered an injury scare. Along with Agarwal, Deepak Chahar has also been included along with Kedar Jadhav and Manish Pandey while the spin twins of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav have been included.
Agarwal has enjoyed a magnificent run in Tests as the opener of the Indian cricket team. The Karnataka opener slammed a double century in the Vizag Test against South Africa and then followed it up with a brilliant 243 against Bangladesh in the Indore Test. Agarwal has hit three centuries in the last five Tests and his ongoing form merited a place in the ODI. West Indies have not won an ODI series against India since 2006 when the Brian Lara-led side defeated India 4-1 in the five-match ODI series held in the Caribbean. In the 2002 series, West Indies had gotten the better of India 4-3 in the seven-match series.
The first match will take place on December 15 at the MA Chidambaram stadium while the second match will be played on December 18 in Vizag. The third and final match will be played in Cuttack on December 22.
India's squad for 3 ODIs: 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, Bhuvneshwar Kumar