India captain Virat Kohli and wicketkeeper-batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni. @ Getty Images
India captain Virat Kohli and wicketkeeper-batsman Mahendra Singh Dhoni. @ Getty Images

After a thumping win in the two-match Test series, No. 2-ranked India, led by Virat Kohli, face a depleted West Indies lot, ranked six places below the hosts in the first of the five-match ODI on Sunday in Guwahati.

Sans their reliable performers – Chris Gayle, Andre Russell, Dwayne Bravo, Kieron Pollard, Sunil Narine and Evin Lewis — the last to opt out of the series citing personal reasons, the visitors are a pale side on paper.

Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar reckons the five-match ODI series will be another one-sided contest with a huge gap in experience and quality between both teams.

“The Test series was a damp squib and except the morning session on Day Three of the second Test, the Indians had no pressure at all. They were coasting at all times. Despite the odd failure, the team effort was so massive that the once mighty Windies looked out of depth,” Gavaskar wrote in his column for the Times of India on Sunday.

“The Windies have a chance to do better in the limited-overs series, but here again their best players are either at home or playing in some franchise cricket somewhere in the world. It could be another one-sided series unless the Windies suddenly rediscover their mojo.”

As far is India is concerned, Gavaskar feels the home side will come out all guns blazing to ensure they stretch their winning momentum.

“India, of course, can only play the team that’s out in the park and they would want to keep the winning rhythm going. The old saying ‘practice makes perfect’ applies not just to individuals but also to teams and practising winning can be habit forming,” he wrote.

“So, for batsmen to get the team off to a flying start and maintain a healthy scoring rate in the middle overs and then double it in the final 10 overs is great practice. For the bowlers too, grabbing early wickets, choking up the runs in the middle overs and getting wicket-dot balls in the final overs will stand them in good stead for sterner battles ahead.”