The Rain Gods spoilt the opening game of the 3-match ODI series between India and the West Indies. After a delayed start the home team was asked to bat on a damp surface by the opposition skipper, Virat Kohli. A total of 13 overs were bowled in the first innings which contained two rain breaks. Though the weather improved the ground conditions were not suitable for a shortened game. Eventually, the game was called off and now the teams have travelled to the iconic Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad and Tobago for their second fixture.
The visitors are on a roll after pasting the Caribbean side in the T20I series. Their bench strength is getting better and better at the end of each tour. Though the team has rested a couple of their established stars for the ODI sojourn they are still favourites to win the series. It will be another opportunity for the Men in Blue to test out their new-look middle-order. Even the wrist spinners will be keen to improve their performances as they have not enjoyed the first half of the year.
The island team had a torrid time in their favoured version of the game. It seemed that the team was still suffering from the hangover of their 2019 World Cup performances. Some of their batting stars look out of form and their bowling attack lack penetration. Now taking all these factors into account it will be a tough task for them to beat this Indian side in ODIs. Still, there is hope as Jason Holder’s men are always a force in white-ball cricket and they have proved it on several occasions.
Rohit Sharma is on a dream run but his opening partner Shikhar Dhawan will like to buy some runs after his poor returns in the T20I series. Captain Kohli will be looking to spend more time in the crease to guide the inexperienced middle-order. The new No.4 Shreyas Iyer will have to cash in as Manish Pandey is waiting in the wings. For Rishabh Pant, it is again a golden opportunity to show his growth in the 50 overs cricket with his batting and keeping skills.
Ravindra Jadeja has earned his skipper’s trust after his breakthrough performance in the semi-final of 2019 World Cup. He will be accompanying Kedar Jadhav in the all-rounder’s section. Both Mohammad Shami and Bhuvneshwar Kumar were potent with their new ball spell in the first game. Khaleel Ahmed will be the third seamer in the absence of Hardik Pandya. Kuldeep Yadav is likely to retain his place after getting to bowl just two overs in the previous encounter.
Probable XI: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (C), Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (WK), Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Mohammad Shami.
Again Chris Gayle will be walking out to topple the highest run-getter in the ODI history of Windies cricket. He will be joined by Evin Lewis who regained his lost touch in the abandoned game. Shai Hope will be taking care of the top-order if an early wicket falls and the team will be also banking on his glovework. The youngsters, Shimron Hetmyer and Nicholas Pooran will be controlling the middle-order.
Roston Chase will be looking to consolidate his place in the ODI squad and he can be a game-changer with his all-round abilities. With their versatile game skipper, Jason Holder and Carlos Brathwaite can chip in with useful contributions. The pace battery will be charged up by the presence of Sheldon Cottrell and Kemar Roach. Fabian Allen’s left-arm spin will be a key factor in the middle overs.
Probable XI: Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope Nicholas Pooran (WK), Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder (C), Carlos Brathwaite, Roston Chase, Kemar Roach, Sheldon Cottrell, Fabian Allen.
Focus will be on
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (India)
Since his debut in 2012, the Meerut pacer has been an integral part of the Indian team. He has added a lot of variations to his repertoire. Still, in recent times, Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been inconsistent in white-ball cricket as he has lost his venom with the new ball. Surprisingly he was on song in the first game and can wreak havoc if the surface suits him.
Kemar Roach (Windies)
The West Indies has always produced quality fast-bowlers and Kemar Roach is one of them. In 2019 World Cup he looked in good rhythm as he scaled 6 wickets in 4 games. Even before that, the speedster showed his class when the Caribbean side won the historic Test series against England earlier in the year. He can be devastating with his pace and control.
Head to Head
Matches played – 128 l Windies won – 62 l India won – 60 l Tied – 2 l No Result – 4
113.50 – Average recorded by Rohit Sharma in Queen’s Park Oval
20 – Number of ODIs played by Chris Gayle in Port of Spain which is the most he has played on any ground.
TV – Sony Ten 1, Sony Ten 1 HD, Sony Ten 3, Sony Ten 3 HD
Live Streaming – Sony LIV
Match Timings – 19:00 IST and 9:30 local
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