India and West Indies meet again in a matter of days, as the series gets to another southern city in India, this time in Thiruvananthapuram, at the Greenfield Stadium.
The first T20 match was a high-scoring encounter where both the teams battled hard and it took an inning of brilliance from skipper, Virat Kohli to help India get over the line.
The match is scheduled to be on Sunday, the 8th of December.
The Indian bowlers were left scrambling for answers in Hyderabad as the West Indian batsmen took the attack to the them from the very first ball and never stopped coming.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar managed to pull things back in the end overs and the spinners too kept the scoring rate somewhat in check but overall, India would not be happy about its bowling performance.
Mohammad Shami is waiting in the wings and could get a look-in if Deepak Chahar continues to go for runs.
Washington Sundar also had an off-day and was quite expensive during the powerplay. He also has Kuldeep Yadav breathing down his neck.
India’s batting was all about Virat Kohli. The man came back to the T20I fold after quite a while, and his telling form was evident from his knock of 94.
This was his highest T20 score and was also the most number of sixes he has ever hit in one innings.
He was ably helped by the performance of Lokesh Rahul, who was aggressive from the word go, and also played very well to score 62 from 40 balls.
Since they were rewarded with a win in the first T20I, chances are that Kohli and Ravi Shastri would not like to make any change in the winning combination.
An awesome batting performance from the West Indies set the stage for a very close match. The West Indians had their chance, but could not get Virat Kohli out and that proved to be the difference in the end.
The surface in Hyderabad also played to the strengths of the West Indian batsmen and things might get tougher on slower surfaces; much like the one that potentially awaits them in Kerala.
Evin Lewis looked in tremendous form, Brandon King gave a good account of himself, and Shimron Hetmyer was dangerous.
Kieron Pollard and Jason Holder unleashed a powerful attack during the end of the inning and helped the West Indies reach a total of 207. One of the biggest strengths of this West indies side is its ability to bat deep.
Nicholas Pooran is going to be available for selection in this match. Lendl Simmons may miss out if Pooran is elevated to the opening position.
Sheldon Cottrell was the pick of the West Indian bowlers during the previous match and troubled all the batsmen he bowled to.
Still, the bowling attack is a bit weak for the West Indies and is going to struggle to stop this strong Indian batting lineup.
INDIA: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (C), Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (WK), Shivam Dube, Ravindra Jadeja, Washington Sundar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar and Yuzvendra Chahal.
WEST INDIES: Lendl Simmons, Evin Lewis, Brandon King, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicolas Pooran (WK), Kieron Pollard (C), Jason Holder, Khary Pierre, Kesrick Williams, Hayden Walsh and Sheldon Cottrell.
The weather forecast for Thiruvananthapuram is excellent and there is no threat of rain. The pitch at the Greenfield Stadium is not going to be as good to bat on as the one in Hyderabad, but it is still going to be very good.
The outfield is small and there is potential for another high-scoring match. The spinners could play a bigger role in this match than they did in the previous one.
All said and done, the Men in Blue will be eager to close out the series. West Indies, though, will have to make sure they win this one, and for that, the Caribbeans need to ensure that they improve upon their bowling efforts.
Team CricWizz predicts an Indian win in the 2nd T20I.
Cover image courtesy: The Cricket Times