West Indies v India: 2nd ODI Preview


We preview the second ODI between the West Indies and India, which is being played at the Queen's Park Oval.

Friday's washout stifled what should have been an exciting start to an intriguing five-match series. The Windies and Indians will try again at the same venue 48 hours later, with rain again - unfortunately - expected.

This will almost certainly be the islanders' most testing series of the season, despite the rather under-strength nature of the opposition, who have rested a couple of stars - and here's hoping Mother Nature is keen to play along.

India v Pakistan | Sunday 25 June 2017 | Second ODI | Queen's Park Oval, Port of Spain, Trinidad | 15:30

To Win Match
West Indies 29/10 | Tie 35/1 | India 26/100

West Indies
Unable to qualify for the recent Champions Trophy and now in the awkward position of having to jostle with smaller cricketing nations for a berth in the 2019 World Cup, the men in maroon have plenty to negotiate over the next couple of months. Exactly how they will do so, with a very inexperienced squad, is of particular intrigue.

Their current personnel, who failed to genuinely impress against Afghanistan, are unchanged for the first two ODIs. The 13-man collective share a mere 211 ODIs of experience - and have a severe lack of batting staying power. All-rounder Roston Chase has gone from last year's veritable outsider to 2017's integral player - and plenty of responsibility rests with him.

The hosts will be without fast bowler Shannon Gabriel, who has been sidelined by injury, leaving the likes of Miguel Cummins and Alzarri Joseph to step up in his absence. Both fared poorly in Friday's washout, copping collective expense at the hands of half-centurions Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan. Swift improvement is required.

The Windies, regardless of inexperience and a general lack of recent success, are always solid short-format contenders, as twin World Twenty20 titles attest. All of 30 overs per innings extra, against a slew of superstars, however, might prove a bridge too far for the spirited bunch. That said, they showed signs of restricting the Indians to under 300 on Friday.

While the West Indies' overall ODI record against this month's opposition makes for fruitful reading, on the back of 60 victories in 117 attempts, one must remember almost 30 of those came before the 1990s, when the islanders took a significant downturn - and India's upward surge has since largely become the norm.

Captain Virat Kohli insisted India left London with their heads held high, despite their collective inadequacies in the final. They will still be smarting from that heavy defeat to their arch rivals, though, and nothing less than dominance exactly a week later will soften Sunday's sting.

The Indians have a propensity for winning the opening match or two of a five-fixture affair, but then tend to take their foot off the proverbial gas. This could be the 'in' the Windies need, but an opposition unit sans the services of fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah and batsman Rohit Sharma won't be depleted pushovers.

Sharma has been rested amid recovery from hip surgery, while Bumrah will probably be introduced to Test match cricket against Sri Lanka later this year - and requires a breather before that. Opportunity, then, knocks for the uncapped Rishabh Pant to effectively replace Rohit - and graduate to the next level after a superb 2017 Indian Premier League campaign. For now, though, he will need to take a backseat to preferred replacement Rahane.

Another fine exponent of the IPL, wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav is a welcome addition to an XI that was willing to sacrifice all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja in the first match. While the Queen's Park Oval is not a veritable dust bowl, it can prove dry and sluggish - conditions suited to Yadav. Fellow wrist spinner Devendra Bishoo enjoyed some turn and extra bounce in the series opener.

Verdict: West Indies 29/10
Asked to travel a substantial distance, acclimatise and prepare a week after suffering an emotionally taxing defeat in a major International Cricket Council tournament will prove all too much for India.
Written by Jonhenry Wilson for @Hollywoodbets.net

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