The focus will be on the vice-captain Raul KL‘s in his batting stance on his return from a short break as a buoyant India aim for another demolition act against West Indies in the second ODI to seal the three-match series here on Wednesday.
The spinning duo from India yuzvendra chahal Y Washington Sundar went on a rampage when they shot West Indies for a meager 176 and then the skipper rohit sharma led the chase with a searing 60 as the hosts recorded an easy six-wicket win in the opener at Motera.
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Infused with new energy under Rohit, India looked like a completely overhauled unit after being shut out in South Africa and the team would certainly want to continue from where they left off on Sunday night.
The biggest positive for India is that Rohit, who had missed the South Africa tie due to a hamstring injury, was in brilliant form on his return.
I’d be itching to take the listless West Indian attack on the cleaners once more. The same goes for Ishan Kishan, who opened with Rohit in the first ODI and did a decent job with a 36-ball 28.
But with Rahul available as of this game, it remains to be seen whether the wrist batsman from Karnataka opens alongside the skipper or plays in the middle order on a relatively slow court. Rahul skipped the first ODI due to a personal commitment.
If he opens the batting then Jharkhand dasher Kishan will have to make way for the older batsman.
If Rahul bats in the middle order then rookie deepak hoodawho played his role to perfection in the opener going 26 unbeaten in 32 deliveries, might have to sit out as the team cannot afford to play the rest of the middle-order heavyweights. Virat Kohli, Rishabh pants and Suryakumar Yadav.
The game is also crucial for Kohli, who is going through a rough patch and would like to get the 71,000 he has been waiting for more than two years.
The hosts, if they bat first, would surely also like to set a target as they prepare for next year’s World Cup.
On the bowling front, India put on a clinical show as the duo of Chahal and Washington ran through an unimpressive West Indian line-up.
The team management is unlikely to make any changes to the bowling attack.
But it remains to be seen if one of the two tweakers goes down and left arm spinner Kuldeep Yadav, who is also waiting in the wings, makes his way into the playing XI.
The West Indies, on the other hand, will be looking to forget the improved hammering and eye spectacle in all departments, especially batting.
Sunday was the 10th time in the last 16 games that the West Indies had failed to bat 50 full overs.
The Kieron Pollard-led side need to get that aspect sorted out and, as seasoned all-rounder Jason Holder pointed out, batsmen need to put a jackpot in their wicket.
“We have to dig deeper. I don’t think we’re too far apart to be fair. Our main request just needs to go a little deeper, put a bigger prize on his wicket and have a very good chance,” Holder had said.
The Caribbean team also possesses hard hitters, including Nicolas Pooran and Pollard, and can take any good attack to the cleaners. They would be hoping that Wednesday would be that day.
Their bowlers except Alzarri Joseph were criticized by the Indian batsmen especially Rohit and would like to play again and play in the right areas.
India: Rohit Sharma (captain), KL Rahul (vice-captain), Agarwal MayankRuturaj Gaikwad, Shikhar DhawanVirat Kohli, Surya Kumar Yadav, Shreyas IyerIshan Kishan (goalkeeper), Deepak Hooda, Rishabh Pant (goalkeeper), Deepak Chahar, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Washington Sundar, Ravi Bishnoy, Mohd. Siraj, Prasidh Krishna, avesh khanShahrukh Khan.
West Indies: Kieron Pollard (Captain), Fabian Allen, Nkrumah Bonner, Darren Bravo, Shamarh Brooks, Jason Holder, Shai Hope, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Nicolas Pooran, Kemar Roach, Romario Shepard, Odean Smith, Hayden Walsh Jr.