India vs West Indies, 2nd ODI: Can India level the series in Vizag?

Hundreds from Shai Hope and Shimron Hetymer propelled West Indies to a 1-0 lead in the three-match One Day International (ODI) series, with the second game set to be played on Wednesday (December 18). India will look to stay alive in the series and end its losing streak in ODIs at home. After winning the second ODI against Australia in March, India has now lost four consecutive ODI matches on home soil.

Virat Kohli went with just 3 frontline bowlers in the first ODI and got Ravindra Jadeja, Shivam Dube and Kedar Jadhav to bowl 20 overs against a destructive West Indies batting unit—the three combining to give away 137 runs in 18.5 overs without taking a single wicket.

The slowness of the pitch and some good bowling from West Indies didn’t allow India to get to a flying start but runs from the middle-order will make the management happy while moving forward in limited-overs. Shreyas Iyer continued his good run in ODIs as he scored his third consecutive fifty and Rishabh Pant was finally among runs with a fine 71.

After the bowling unit copped a thrashing in the first ODI, India will be looking to bring Chahal back in the side instead of Jadeja, he looked the least threatening with Hetmyer bossing him throughout the tour. Vizag might see the return of the ‘KulCha’ (Kuldeep-Chahal) combination back in the Indian set up. It is also conceivable that Shivam Dube makes way, if the team management keeps backing Jadeja.

On the other hand, West Indies will not be over-confident after the win in Chennai as they know how India came back strongly in the third T20 in Mumbai after losing the second game. They will be mighty pleased how Hetmyer is coming good for them and Shai Hope continuing his dominance in the subcontinent.

Phil Simmons and Pollard have identified the value of having players like Roston Chase and Shai Hope who provide the much-needed stability in this batting unit with stroke players like Pooran, Hetmyer and Pollard at the other end. This team will only get stronger when Andre Russel comes back and occupies the No 7 position between skipper Pollard and Jason Holder.

West Indies will be hoping for Hayden Walsh to get more experience from this tour, as he is still on a learning curve in the ODIs. Pollard would seek better control in the middle-overs from Roston Chase and Walsh against a strong Indian batting unit. Alzarri Joseph did a fine job in middle overs by bowling good lines without change of pace and Sheldon Cottrell has continued his good form since March.

What to Expect

Visakhapatnam hosted an India vs West Indies ODI match in 2018, and the match ended in a tie with both teams scoring 321. So we can expect a run-feast.

Team News

Evin Lewis might be rested again as Sunil Ambris is expected to open with Shai Hope. India might be making one change with Chahal returning for Jadeja/Dube.

Probable XIs

India — Rohit Sharma, K L Rahul, Virat Kohli (C), Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (WK), Kedar Jadhav, Shivam Dube, Deepak Chahar, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal/Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami.

West Indies — Shai Hope (WK), Sunil Ambris, Shimron Hetmyer, Roston Chase, Nicolas Pooran, Kieron Pollard (C), Jason Holder, Keemo Paul, Hayden Walsh, Alzarri Joseph, Sheldon Cottrell.

Key Players

Rohit Sharma – Rohit Sharma got a good start in the first ODI but couldn’t convert it into a big one on a two-paced wicket. After scoring 5 tons in the World Cup, Sharma has been inconsistent in the shorter formats and, he will be looking to end this year on a high in the last two ODIs against West Indies. Sharma is just 24 runs behind Kohli in the leading run-scorers list in ODIs this year.

Sheldon Cottrell — Since his recall into the limited over side against England in March there was no looking back for Cottrell. He has emerged as the leader of the West Indies pace attack and has picked up 28 wickets from 21 ODIs this year including 12 wickets during the 2019 ODI World Cup.

Match starts at 1.30 pm IST.

Cover Image Courtesy: Twitter

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