The recent ODI series against India did give West Indies some hope of turning their fortunes around in this format real quick. Their batting unit made some giant strides after a few unimpressive performances this year and with a bit of luck, West Indies could have easily ended up on the winning side on a couple of occasions. Nevertheless, as the scoreline suggests, they did end up losing 3-0 for the third straight time in this format and they are desperately in need of a win to break that duck. Nine straight losses is never a pretty sight.
However, the addition of Shimron Hetmyer does offer the hosts more hope. A batting unit that slowly looks like settling down will further be bolstered by the left-hander's presence in the middle order. He didn't do a great deal in the two games he batted against the visitors in the recently-concluded T20I series but Hetmyer will certainly get more time to spend out in the middle in the 50-over format.
It will be interesting to see the makeup of the bowling unit for the hosts. They did concede totals in excess of 300 on a couple of occasions against India and New Zealand have a few explosive in-form batters in their ranks as well to cause similar damage. But one man who will be under the spotlight is skipper Kane Williamson. While he continues to chase an elusive big score, it's worth noting that Williamson will be playing his first ODI game in over two years.
In fact, Williamson has featured in only two ODIs ever since the 2019 World Cup final and that is without a doubt a staggering fact. At a time when concerns over the format's future starts cropping up, it is imperative the world's best players get to play in as many ODIs as possible in the lead up to the World Cup next year.