India’s quest to win their second consecutive Champions Trophy title might have ended after an 180-run defeat to Pakistan, but the Virat Kohli-led side hopes to recover quickly as they take on West Indies in a five-match ODI series and a T20I match, which will kick start from June 23. Except for their performance against arch-rivals Pakistan, team India had a dominating run in the 50-over Global tournament. After putting up a great show, it will be important to see whether some of the star performers can replicate their form on the Caribbean soil.
Here are the five players to look out for in the upcoming series:
Shikhar Dhawan led from the front as the left-handed batsman along with Rohit Sharma gave solid starts to team India. With 338 runs in five innings, the 31-year old batsman finished as the highest run-scorer in the tournament. This was the second time that Dhawan scored 300 plus runs in the ICC tournament and won the ‘Golden Bat’. In the absence of Rohit, Dhawan will once again play a crucial role as the team will look after him for swift starts.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli had a brilliant run with the bat in the just-concluded Champions Trophy. With three fifty plus knocks, Kohli along with the Indian openers gave India solid starts and led India to its second edition final on the trot. It will be important to see Kohli and Dhawan step up and set solid platforms for the middle order batsmen. After Anil Kumble stepping down as the Head Coach, Kohli will have to prove that his disapproval with Kumble’s style will not hinder India’s performance.
Hardik Pandya has emerged as one of the best all-rounders in the current Indian squad. Known for his hard-hitting ability, Pandya has provided strength to India’s middle order. The right-handed batsman had a decent outing with the bat where he scored 105 runs, which included a quickfire of 76 against Pakistan in the final. The 23-year old right-arm pacer will also play a key role with the ball alongside Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar was India’s highest wicket-taker in the eighth edition of the Champions Trophy. Finishing with eight wickets from five matches, Bhuvneshwar is expected to play a lead role with the new ball in India’s tour of West Indies. The right-arm pacer was a part of the two Tests the last time India toured West Indies.
Kedar Jadhav has emerged as one of the finds for the Indian team. The 32-year old all-rounder has been a vital part of the Kohli-led side. With his ability to bowl tight overs in the middle, gives Indian skipper an opportunity to go for an extra bowler. It will be interesting to see his performance against West Indies.