India v Windies, 2nd T20I Preview: India eyes series win

After pulling off a successful chase in the first match, India will look to seal the three-match T20I series with a victory in the second game. India will clash for the 2nd time in 3 days against West Indies in the 2nd T20I of the 3-match series at the Greenfield International Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala on Sunday.

At Hyderabad, Captain Virat Kohli led by example and scored an unbeaten knock of 94 runs to help India chase down a mammoth target of 208 with eight balls to spare. But Team India will look for better bowling performances, massive improvement in their fielding and their middle order to step up.

Rohit Sharma is due a big innings—his last six T20I innings read 12, 9, 9, 85, 2, 8, and he has scored just 310 runs in 12 matches this year at an average of 25.83. The under-pressure Rishabh Pant hit a first-ball six in the chase but flattered to deceive as he threw his wicket away for 18 off 9 balls. All-rounder Shivam Dube, who conceded 13 runs in the only over he bowled, failed to make an impact.

In the bowling department, Deepak Chahar had a rare off-game, as 56 runs were plundered off his bowling, but is expected to make a strong comeback in Thiruvananthapuram. With Bhuvneshwar Kumar back in the side, India will have to make up its mind on whether it wants to open with the Chahar-Bhuvneshwar duo or give more opportunities to off-spinner Washington Sundar with the new ball. Sundar’s batting has been a revelation in the Syed Mushtaq Ali tournament but how India uses him in his primary role is moot. The team management will also have to find a way to give some game time to Kuldeep Yadav, making a comeback into the T20I side.

In the fielding department, there were numerous misfields as well as dropped catches in Hyderabad, with Washington Sundar and Rohit Sharma missing sitters, and Team India will look to make amends on this front.

For West Indies, it’s a do-or-die game as they will fight to stay alive in the series. And just like India, they also need to plug the holes in their bowling. Nicholas Pooran will return to West Indies’ playing eleven after serving his four-match ban for ball-tampering.

Shimron Hetmyer struck form with a fifty in the first match, while useful contributions from Evin Lewis and captain Kieron Pollard helped the visiting side cross the 200-run mark. However, all the good work with the bat was undone by poor bowling. Pacer Kesrick Williams conceded 60 runs from 3.4 overs and could make way for Keemo Paul. The visiting side also need to solve their ‘no ball’ problem and extras conceded (23 runs in extras in the first game) that makes a big difference in the T20 format.

Playing conditions 

The Greenfield International Stadium has recently hosted 14 games during the recent Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and spinners dominated in most of the games averaging 20.85 with an economy under 7 runs per over. The ground has hosted only 2 International games till date and both were low scoring games. Weather is expected to stay cloudy throughout the evening. There are 4% chances of precipitation while it promises to be highly humid, nearly 77% during the match.

Probable XIs

India: Rohit Sharma, K L Rahul, Virat Kohli (capt), Rishabh Pant (wk), Shreyas Iyer, Sanju Samson, Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Deepak Chahar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal

West Indies: Lendl Simmons, Evin Lewis, Brandon King, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Kieron Pollard (capt), Jason Holder, Khary Pierre, Kesrick Williams, Sheldon Cottrell, Hayden Walsh

Key Players

Nicholas Pooran – West Indies missed Nicolas Pooran in Hyderabad. 2 left-handed batsmen in Pooran and Hetmyer will boost the West Indies middle order, especially against the leg-spinner and left-arm spinner in the Indian bowling line-up. Pooran also had a good IPL last year for Kings XI Punjab, where he scored 168 runs at an average of 28 and strike rate 157.01.

KL Rahul – Shikhar Dhawan’s injury has cleared the path for KL Rahul to finally occupy the T20I opening spot. The Karnataka opener grabbed the opportunity in Hyderabad with both hands by scoring 62 off 40 balls in the first game. He will look to carry forward his form into the second match.

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