Unlike their acumen in the T20I format, where hosts West Indies boast of a plethora of superstars, the ODI format has seen the former cricketing giants struggle. Hence, Sri Lanka will be optimistic about their chances after conceding the last series.
To further make things worse for Kieron Pollard and Co., their ODI record against Sri Lanka is gloomy as well. West Indies have lost five out of their last five completed ODI matches. While Sri Lanka have won three out of their last three completed ODIs, they have won five out of their last 5 ODIs against West Indies.
The 50-over format also sees Sri Lanka edging West Indies only slightly in head-to-head.
|WI vs SL Head-to-Head|
|West Indies||Metrics||Sri Lanka|
However, West Indies would like to make a fresh start with this ODI series and given their superior batting firepower across all format, Pollard would want to bat first. Interestingly, West Indies have won four out of their last five coin tosses, as opposed to Sri Lanka's only one win in the same number of tosses.
Though West Indies have managed just one bilateral series win in their last five home series, which came against Ireland earlier last year after losses to England, Bangladesh and twice against India, the hosts will look at their inning totals while batting first with encouragement.
|West Indies at Home (Last 5 innings)|
|240/7||vs India||Port of Spain||August 14, 2019|
|54/1||vs India||Providence||August 8, 2019|
|289/6||vs England||Bridgetown||February 22, 2019|
|360/8||vs England||Bridgetown||February 20, 2019|
|271||vs Bangladesh||Providence||July 25, 2018|
West Indies will not have superstar Chris Gayle in their ODI squad after his inclusion in the T20I squad. Gayle has averaged 41.5 in the two times he has played in the last five ODIs and his miss would need to be compensated by Evin Lewis and an in-form Nicholas Pooran - with averages of 76 and 52, respectively.
After Angelo Mathews led the Sri Lanka cricket team in the T20I series, regular captain Dimuth Karunaratne will now resume his role in the ODI and Test series. And he will be hoping the likes of MD Gunathilaka, Mathews, and MD Shanaka to fire this time.
While Gunathilaka has averaged 73.5 in his last two ODIs, Shanaka averages 55.5 in the same number of matches. Mathews has played thrice in Sri Lanka's last five ODI matches, averaging 50 and has a century to his name as well.
All three of the ODI matches will be played at Antigua's Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, and given the scores at the venue in the last five innings, both the teams will be shoring up their first eleven with more bowlers than batsmen. The ground has seen an average total of 198.8 in the last five matches.
|Sir Vivian Richards Stadium|
|West Indies||189/4||India||July 2, 2017|
|India||251/4||West Indies||June 30, 2017|
|West Indies||225||England||March 5, 2017|
|England||296/6||West Indies||March 3, 2017|
|England||303/6||West Indies||March 5, 2014|
Feature Image Courtesy: AFP/ Randy Brooks