The West Indies tour of India started with a 3-match T20I series between the two nations that the ‘Men in Blue’ won 2-1.
The three-match ODI series started on December 15 in Chennai which saw the visitors overhauling India’s target with 13 balls to spare.
Trailing the series 0-1, India will now face West Indies in the second ODI at Vishakhapatnam on December 18.
The match is scheduled to be played at the Dr. Y.S Rajasekhara Reddy Stadium. The Vizag wicket has generally favoured the batsmen more, especially during the first-half of a match. Spinners will play a big role in the middle overs.
India will look to bounce back after its disheartening loss in Chennai even after the batsmen managed to get them to a very good total.
But, it was an extremely disappointing display from the Indian bowlers as the West Indies players kept on sending each one out of the park.
India’s top three – Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli, are the big guns in the batting line-up. Kohli was the leading run-getter in the preceding T20I series, but he surprisingly failed at the Chepauk.
The Indian selectors will have to choose between Manish Pandey and all-rounder Kedar Jadhav as one of the team’s middle-order batsmen.
It will also be interesting to see whether captain Kohli decides to play both the wrist-spinners – Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal – or pick seam-bowling all-rounder Shivam Dube in place of one of them.
Ravindra Jadeja’s position is on the radar too, and a change in that regard might not be too surprising.
Deepak Chahar is set to share the new ball with Mohammed Shami yet again, due to Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s injury.
When it comes to batting, the onus will be on Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma to deliver. Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant have definitely cemented their positions after brilliant performances in the 1st ODI.
West Indies are sweating over the fitness of their opening batsman Evin Lewis who hurt his knee while fielding in the third T20 international.
In case he fails to recover in time for this game, Shai Hope will probably be made to open the batting again, alongside Sunil Ambris. Kieron Pollard will be leading the Windies in this ODI series.
The Windies have ample batting firepower in Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran and skipper Kieron Pollard.
West Indies will rely heavily on Sheldon Cottrell, Jason Holder and Alzarri Joseph to get rid of India’s top-order early on in the innings.
Roston Chase will play the floater role depending on the situation. Hayden Walsh Jr. will be key at the potentially turning wicket in Vizag. The Windies will likely field an unchanged team for the second ODI.
INDIA: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (c), Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Deepak Chahar, Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal
WEST INDIES: Sunil Ambris, Shai Hope (wk), Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran, Kieron Pollard (c), Roston Chase, Jason Holder, Keemo Paul, Sheldon Cottrell, Alzarri Joseph, Hayden Walsh
Virat Kohli vs Sheldon Cottrell
Virat Kohli is easily the premier batsman in the world, be it in any format. His ODI form has been impeccable and the burden of being the Indian captain has not at all affected his form or the team’s fortunes.
The ICC ODI Number 1 Batsman has 11524 runs from 240 matches at a superlative average of 60.02 and a brilliant strike rate of 93.21.
The fiery Windies pacer, Sheldon Cottrell has been highly impressive in ODIs. The left-arm pacer is a wily customer and is a proven wicket-taker.
From 27 matches, the 30-year old veteran has managed to prise out 36 wickets even though the stats do not favour him much.
But the thing that sets him apart is the bounce he has managed to extract off the pitches, and that ability to surprise the batsmen with well-directed short balls has been key in his displays.
He managed to prise out important wickets at the top of the order, and Pollard will expect nothing less from the Jamaican.
Mohammed Shami vs Shimron Hetmyer
Mohammed Shami was the pick of the Indian bowlers in the Test series, and now he will look to recreate that form in the ODI matches as well.
With Jasprit Bumrah missing out again, Shami holds the aces, but the West Bengal pacer disappointed in the first ODI, and was horribly out of place.
Shami has 132 wickets from 71 matches at a strike rate of 27.3.
Shimron Hetmyer was easily the pick of the batsmen for the Caribbean outfit in the T20 series and the 1st ODI, and the enterprising Windies batsman is capable of upsetting India’s cause singlehandedly, as was evident in Chennai.
His ability to take on the bowlers, regardless of any situation, makes him an extremely dangerous proposition for the Indian bowlers.
Hetmyer has 1375 runs from 40 matches at an incredible strike rate of 107.17. He has five centuries to his name too, including the rapid 139 he made in the last match.
West Indies thumped India by eight wickets in the first ODI to take a 1-0 lead, and that will give them confidence and momentum going into this match.
India’s record in home conditions is formidable. West Indies looks to identify a winning combination with Kieron Pollard at the helm. With a young and dynamic side at his disposal, Pollard will eye a win.
The Windies do have a few batsmen in their side who can take the game away from the opposition, but if India bowl well, the ‘Men in Blue’ should pick up a win on Wednesday.
Team CricWizz predicts a win for India.