After the India-West Indies ODI series got off to a damp start, both teams will be jostling for an early lead with two consecutive wins now needed to seal the three-match series. As the action moves to Trinidad, West Indies fly in with a host of worries that start right at the top.
Chris Gayle is seven shy of breaking Brian Lara’s record of most runs in ODIs for West Indies and the focus first up on Sunday will be on that. However, Gayle’s start in Guyana – where he scored a 31-ball 4 – doesn’t inspire much confidence. West Indies – in the T20Is – struggled with their batting as India clean swept the series with ease. A good start from the openers will go a long way in easing those worry lines, with Evin Lewis’s 40 off 36 in the first game does show he’s finding some form.
West Indies made a pretty slow start against Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammed Shami – scoring just nine in the first six – and that kind of approach rarely works in modern-day cricket. While Lewis did attack Khaleel Ahmed to make up the scoring rate, they need to put pressure on the opening Indian pacers to create an impact early.
For India, one of the disappointments from the first game was that Shreyas Iyer’s audition at No. 4 got washed out with the match. India, however, are likely to stick with him for a while in search for some crucial answers. Shikhar Dhawan returned to the ODI side and will be searching for form after a mediocre T20I series.
West Indies need a win to shore up their confidence but India are too hard to get past at the moment. A quality contest will certainly create some interest in the series.
What: West Indies vs India, 2nd ODI, 09:30am local time, 7pm IST
Where: Queen’s Park Oval, Port of Spain, Trinidad