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Feature

Hosein, Motie and Seales among notable talents who could challenge India

Deivarayan Muthu on the relatively unknown West Indies players to watch out for in the ODI series against India

Deivarayan Muthu
20-Jul-2022
Akeal Hosein is currently the leading wicket-taker in the ODI Super League  •  Getty Images

Akeal Hosein is currently the leading wicket-taker in the ODI Super League  •  Getty Images

Less than a week after completing an ODI series against Bangladesh, West Indies gear up to host India. While the likes of Jason Holder, Nicholas Pooran and Rovman Powell are now familiar names in white-ball cricket, here are five relatively-unknown West Indies players to watch out for in this series.
Akeal Hosein
A left-arm fingerspinner known for his relentless accuracy, Akeal Hosein uncharacteristically missed his lengths in the recently concluded white-ball series against Bangladesh, managing just three wickets in three T20Is and three ODIs. Hosein, however, is still the leading wicket-taker in the ongoing ODI Super League with 35 strikes in 20 games at an average of 23.37 and an economy rate of 4.46.
If Hosein can return to his best, he could pose a threat to an India line-up that could potentially feature a large number of right-hand batters in their middle order.
Hosein also brings with him some IPL experience, having been a net bowler for Kolkata Knight Riders. Strong performances against India usually pique the interest of IPL scouts, and this could well be his time to shine again. And, he can smash sixes lower down the order as well, and might relish the prospect of going up against his idol Ravindra Jadeja.
Gudakesh Motie
In his first ODI series, left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie took six wickets in three matches at an average of 13.33 and economy rate of just 3, in front of his home crowd in Guyana. Similar thrifty bowling in CPL 2021 had contributed to Guyana Amazon Warriors' run to the second semi-final last year.
After playing just six CPL matches, Motie travelled to the UAE as a net bowler for the 2021 T20 World Cup. This is another T20 World Cup year offering another opportunity for Motie. West Indies' white-ball captain Pooran, who has also captained Motie in the CPL, knows what the left-armer brings to the table: slow turn and drift and the ability to trick batters with a quicker arm-ball from wide of the crease.
Jayden Seales
Fast bowler Jayden Seales played just one match against Bangladesh, conceding 26 in 3.5 overs, but with Anderson Phillip and Romario Shepherd dropping out of the ODI squad for the India series, he could likely get more game time. Seales can swing the new ball, bowl hard lengths in the middle overs, and hit his yorkers at the death, skills that were on show during his CPL stint with Trinbago Knight Riders and LPL stint with Jaffna Kings.
In LPL 2021, which was dominated by spinners, Seales emerged as the most prolific seamer, with 15 wickets in seven matches at an economy rate of 7.81. Earlier this year, Seales said that working with Wahab Riaz and Suranga Lakmal at the LPL helped him develop his death bowling. That skill will be put to the test against India.
Brandon King
Brandon King is bit of an enigma. He originally started as a middle-order batter for Jamaica, but Johan Botha, the coach of Amazon Warriors at the time, transformed him into a hard-hitting opener in CPL 2019. King responded to the CPL promotion with 496 runs in 12 innings at an average of 55.11 and strike rate of almost 150, including an unbeaten 132 in the first qualifier, which moved Botha to tears.
King's transition to international cricket, however, hasn't been as smooth. The team management continually shunting him up and down the order hasn't helped him, although he recently said that he backs himself to bat anywhere in the top six.
King might not have even been in West Indies' recent squads had Evin Lewis and Shimron Hetmyer not been omitted on fitness grounds. Time may be running out for him but he can make a mark in this series.
Keacy Carty
Born in St. Maarten, a Dutch overseas territory in the Caribbean, Keacy Carty was eligible to play for Netherlands, but as it turned out, he made his international debut for West Indies against Netherlands. In his first outing with the bat, Carty contributed an unbeaten 43 off 66 balls in an unbroken 118-run stand with King to help West Indies ace a chase of 216 after they had been reduced to 99 for 5 by Netherlands' seamers.
Carty is more of an innings builder than a basher, as his List A strike rate of 68.15 suggests. Some of those innings-building skills were also briefly on display in Pakistan and then at home against Bangladesh. In a middle order that includes big-hitters Pooran, Powell, Holder and perhaps King, Carty could be one to hold the innings together, an area where West Indies have struggled in the recent past.
Carty was the Player of the Match in 2016 when West Indies won the Under-19 World Cup final against India in Bangladesh. The likes of Rishabh Pant, Ishan Kishan, Shimron Hetmyer and Alzarri Joseph, who were all involved in that final, have pressed on at the senior level. The series against India is now Carty's chance to find some overdue international success.

Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo