The first match of the series gifted us with a brilliant spectacle of cricket between two teams, if not a little one-sided towards the second half of the game favouring the home side. What was set to be a fascinating run chase quickly turned into a batting onslaught as the Windies lost all control, this second ODI seeks some improvement with the ball if they’re to keep up with India this time around.
A dominant start to the five-match series should see India power on to win the remaining four games (hypothetically) against a West Indies side lacking some much-needed polish. The Windies are not without a chance to cause an upset though, they produced a relatively decent batting performance which looked like a challenging target to chase down at the time. Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma were simply magnificent for the home team, talk about cool in a crisis chasing a total of 320+ in the first match of the series! The innings resembled a game of street cricket, the only difference was that six and out didn’t apply as the fence and grandstand got peppered more times than your eggs for breakfast. A gigantic second-wicket partnership spelled the beginning of the end for the Windies as the pair made an absolute mess of the bowling attack. Shikhar Dhawan was the unlucky batsman to miss out on a dream-like batting surface as he watched Sharma and Kohli run riot from the stands, perhaps tomorrow could be his lucky day?
One thing to take out of this match was India’s team selection, more so the bemusing fact that they left out two players who should’ve been lock-in selections for the first game at Guwahati. The first of the two is top order batsman KL Rahul who has been given very-limited opportunities to show his worth in the Indian ODI side. The 26-year-old featured in just two games during India’s tour of England, followed by a solitary outing in the Asia Cup where he scored 60 against Afghanistan. Specialist spinner Kuldeep Yadav was another surprise absence in the side, it’s possible he was rested after a fair workload in the Asia Cup and could return at any point in this series. The spin of Yuzvendra Chahal proved to be extremely valuable in the first game with his three wickets, that’s where Kuldeep could come back in and make things really difficult for the Windies on these pitches with plenty on offer for the spinners. Indian quick Mohammed Shami threatened to blow the tourists of course with the ball at Guwahati, he’s one to look out for again at Visakhapatnam.
The Windies ticked off one of their two objectives in the series opener at Guwahati, a solid batting performance really did make a big difference with plenty of runs to play with in the second innings. In the end, 322 wasn’t enough as India powered home after an early strike from Oshane Thomas had them on the back foot. The pressure was supposed to build up after that early breakthrough, but all it did was motivate Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli to bang out the runs between the two of them in a partnership that the Windies just couldn’t break. Skipper Jason Holder was just about the tourist’s best bowler with figures of 0/45 off eight overs, the rest of the attack was smashed into oblivion with some individuals potentially on the chopping block ahead of this second ODI at Visakhapatnam. Apart from that early wicket, Oshane Thomas was countlessly smashed to the boundary along with Ashley Nurse who was picked off pretty easily by Sharma in particular.
Frontline seamer Kemar Roach went wicketless which capped off a dismal innings with the ball for the Windies, that’s where they’ll need to improve on quickly ahead of tomorrow’s game. Their batting was actually quite impressive, Shimron Hetmyer notched up his third ODI century at just 21-years of age while Kieran Powell and Shai Hope did their best to accumulate runs against the Indian bowlers. Jason Holder is proving to be a handy lower order batsman as well as their standout quick bowler, he contributed 38 runs at Guwahati. Marlon Samuels ODI return wasn’t a memorable one, he was dismissed for a second-ball duck and needs to find form quickly if he’s to maintain his spot. It’s hard to see the Windies sticking with an unchanged side ahead of the Visakhapatnam ODI, especially in their bowling attack which was torn to pieces. All-rounders Fabian Allen and Keemo Paul as well as fast bowler Alzarri Joseph should all be thoroughly considered for tomorrow’s 2nd ODI.
Top 5 fantasy picks | India | 2nd ODI | Visakhapatnam
- Mohammed Shami
- Shikhar Dhawan
- Virat Kohli
- Rishabh Pant
- Yuzvendra Chahal
Wildcard pick – Ravindra Jadeja
Top 5 fantasy picks | West Indies | 2nd ODI | Visakhapatnam
- Shimron Hetmyer
- Rovman Powell
- Jason Holder
- Devendra Bishoo
- Marlon Samuels
Wildcard pick – Chandrapual Hemraj
India (possible) – 1. Rohit Sharma 2. Shikhar Dhawan 3. Virat Kohli © 4. Ambati Rayudu 5. Rishabh Pant 6. MS Dhoni (wk) 7. Ravindra Jadeja 8. Mohammed Shami 9. Yuzvendra Chahal 10. Khaleel Ahmed/Kuldeep Yadav 11. Umesh Yadav.
West Indies (possible) – 1. Kieran Powell 2. Chandrapaul Hemraj 3. Shai Hope (wk) 4. Marlon Samuels 5. Shimron Hetmyer 6. Rovman Powell 7. Jason Holder © 8. Ashley Nurse/Fabian Allen 9. Devendra Bishoo 10. Kemar Roach 11. Alzarri Joseph/Oshane Thomas.