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India vs West Indies | India Mull Bowling Mix to Stay Alive in Series Against Youthful Caribbean Unit

Not many might have expected this scenario, but one game in, West Indies have a serious shot at their first ODI series win against India in India since 2002.

Cricketnext Staff |December 17, 2019, 6:51 PM IST
India vs West Indies | India Mull Bowling Mix to Stay Alive in Series Against Youthful Caribbean Unit

Not many might have expected this scenario, but one game in, West Indies have a serious shot at their first ODI series win against India in India since 2002.

West Indies beat India in the first game in Chennai by eight wickets, and head to the Visakhapatnam ODI on Wednesday (December 18) high on confidence. The rather easy manner in which they beat India at Chepauk will do them a world of good too, while putting doubts in India's game-plan.

India had posted 287 for 8 batting first, reviving from early setbacks through Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant's half-centuries. It seemed like a stiff target but Shimron Hetmyer and Shai Hope scored contrasting tons to make light work of the challenge. Hetmyer blasted 139 off 106 balls while anchor Hope remained unbeaten on 102 off 151.

It's West Indies fourth consecutive ODI win in India, and India's fourth consecutive ODI loss at home. West Indies look a different side under Kieron Pollard's leadership, the intensity and clarity in roles visible in the first ODI.

It's India who will be pondering their options and strategy now. It was a rare game in which each of their top three batsmen - KL Rahul, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma - failed, but the batting still managed to put up a competitive total through Iyer and Pant. Iyer showed once again why he's the best No. 4 option for India at the moment, while Pant found a good balance between attack and defence. Neither went on to score a century, but India will be pleased with their efforts given their struggles in the middle order in recent times. Kedar Jadhav played a handy knock too. Yet, India will want at least one of the top three to make it big, for that's when they are at their best.

It's the bowling that will worry India. None of them, barring Deepak Chahar with the new ball and Kuldeep Yadav to an extent, looked threatening. West Indies were clear in their plans to attack the part-time bowler Jadhav and all-rounder Shivam Dube; Jadhav was hit for 11 in one over while Dube had a nightmare debut conceding 68 in 7.5 overs. Hetmyer took a liking to Jadeja too, smashing him for four sixes in all.

It will be interesting to see if Dube holds on to his position, especially with Yuzvendra Chahal waiting in the bench. In all likelihood, India will turn to Kul-Cha to do the job which they couldn't in Chennai. Chahar had some issues with his back during West Indies' chase, and if he isn't available, India could go with Shardul Thakur.

West Indies don't have much to change. Their bowlers adapted to the slow pitch well; Sheldon Cottrell in particular was very good, getting both Rahul and Kohli in one over. India's top order batsmen didn't adapt to the sluggish track and West Indies cashed in.

Cottrell, Keemo Paul and Alzarri Joseph got two wickets each.

India and West Indies played an ODI at the Dr. Y.S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium in Visakhapatnam last year as well, with the match ending in a tie. If West Indies can go one step further, it will do a world of good to their revival plans.

Squads:

India: KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli(c), Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant(w), Kedar Jadhav, Shivam Dube, Deepak Chahar, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja, Manish Pandey, Mayank Agarwal, Shardul Thakur

West Indies: Shai Hope(w), Sunil Ambris, Shimron Hetmyer, Roston Chase, Nicholas Pooran, Kieron Pollard(c), Romario Shepherd, Keemo Paul, Hayden Walsh, Khary Pierre, Alzarri Joseph, Jason Holder, Evin Lewis, Sheldon Cottrell, Brandon King

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