India, WI head to Trinidad in search of first win
Rain played spoilsport in Guyana for the first ODI where only 13 overs could be bowled. The action now shifts to Trinidad where both teams will be contesting to get off the mark in the fifty-over format.
India are likely to retain their eleven with not much being tested in Guyana. The management has made it pretty clear - KL Rahul will serve as a back-up opener and the number four spot is open for others to prove themselves and cement it.
Fans will be happy to see Shikhar Dhawan back at the top with the in-form Rohit Sharma. Skipper Virat Kohli, who went century-less at the World Cup, will want to get back to scoring big. India’s top three hold the key with an inexperienced middle order to follow.
Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant and Kedar Jadhav will occupy the number four, five and six spots depending on the situation of the game. With no MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya, the pressure on these three will be tremendous.
India chose to play Ravindra Jadeja ahead of Yuzvendra Chahal to bolster their batting unit. Kuldeep Yadav, with his wrist spin, will partner Jadeja. The seam bowling department will bank largely on Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah. Khaleel Ahmed, who had impressed before the World Cup, has certainly become his skipper’s fourth choice seamer.
West Indies had a mixed start to their innings. There was swing on offer for the Indian seamers which meant that Chris Gayle couldn’t be at his aggressive best. Gayle could manage only four runs from the 31 balls that he faced but the Men in Maroon will be banking on his recent form in the Global T20 Canada. Gayle plundered bowling attacks and that is exactly what Holder’s men need in Trinidad.
The hosts, though, will be happy with the way Evin Lewis played. After failing in the T20I series, Lewis found his mojo back in Guyana, making a 36-ball 40* before the final rain interruption. His timing was sweet and the hosts will hope for him to get a big score even in Port of Spain.
The Windies have got a decent middle-order. Shai Hope has excelled against India in the past. The stylish right-hander got three big scores at the World Cup and will be key to West Indies’ chances in this ODI series as well.
Shimron Hetmyer has had a disappointing few months. The aggressive left-hander can take the game away from the opposition but has shown his struggle against spin bowling. Nicholas Pooran at number five and Roston Chase at number six provide fire-power and solidity to this Windies setup.
The next three men - skipper Jason Holder, slow left-arm Fabian Allen and Carlos Brathwaite are all decent hitters of the cricket ball. The onus will be on Holder and Brathwaite to provide support with the ball to Kemar Roach and Sheldon Cottrell. West Indies will depend largely on Chase and Allen to slow down the pace of the game with their spin.
Battle to watch-out:
Evin Lewis vs Bhuvneshwar Kumar:
Evin Lewis displayed what he’s capable of when he gets going. In a brief outing in Guyana, Lewis played three pull shorts showing signs of returning to form. Bhuvneshwar Kumar has had success against him in the T20I series and can create trouble for anyone if there is swing on offer. India will be banking on Kumar to stop Lewis from creating an impact in Trinidad.
The second ODI begins at 7 PM IST on Sunday.