India vs West Indies, 2nd ODI: Chris Gayle’s big threat headlines top 5 player battles
The talented Shreyas Iyer will be auditioning for the still vacant number four slot as India would pray for some bright sunshine while taking on West Indies in the second ODI of the three-match series, on Sunday. Iyer, who didn’t get game time during the T20 series, was in the playing XI during the rain-affected first game, which was abandoned after 13 overs in Guyana. There is very little chance that India will tinker with their batting order so the Mumbaikar has a better chance of getting into action during the second game.
Meanwhile, Evin Lewis getting some form back augurs well for the Caribbeans who would also want ‘Universe Boss’ Chris Gayle to fire. The Jamaican was in wretched form during his 31-ball-knock that yielded only four runs in the first ODI.
Here are some of the top player battles that could define the contest:
Chris Gayle vs Kuldeep Yadav
Chris Gayle has been struggling to find form of later. But India bowlers will not make the mistake of not considering the threat he poses. The batsman was dismissed for 4 in the first ODI with Kuldeep Yadav cleaning him up. The dismissal could be playing on Gayle’s mind when he takes the field in Trinidad. Kuldeep will also feel the confidence of bowling against the hard-hitter, after already dismissing him in the series. The skipper Virat Kohli could once again introduce the chinaman early on in the match and the simmering rivalry could be on display.
Virat Kohli vs Sheldon Cottrell
The Indian skipper Virat Kohli struggled to find his rhythm when he faced West Indies seamer Sheldon Cottrell in the shortest format. The right-armer dismissed the captain in all the three T20Is. This is one battle that Kohli would be wanting to come out on top of, as he is someone who enjoys challenges. Cottrell, on the other hand will hope he can get him out once again in the ODIs and continue the mind games with the batsman.
Rohit Sharma vs Oshane Thomas
After his brilliant performance in the World Cup, where Rohit Sharma scored four tons, he holds the key for the men in blue in the 50-overs format. The young seamer Oshane Thomas, who caused trouble to the batsman in the T20I format, will hope he can come out on top against him with the new ball. The right-hander has scored 45 off 27 balls against Thomas with six fours and two sixes. If Thomas can get him out early, it will really West Indies’ quest of winning a game against India.
Evin Lewis vs Deepak Chahar
Evin Lewis had got off to a brilliant start in the first ODI before the rain abruptly ended the affair. He struck an unbeaten 40 runs in 36 balls, and tackled Bhuvneshwar Kumar smartly, who dismissed him twice in the T20I series. In the 2nd ODI, Lewis is likely to face Deepak Chahar, who dismissed the opener in the 3rd T20I. The right-armer is expected to replace Khaleel Ahmed and this could be one battle that may set the tone for the rest of the West Indies’ top-order.
Nicolas Pooran vs Yuzvendra Chahal
Nicolas Pooran was one of the best players in the T20I series for West Indies where they were defeated 3-0 in India. The youngster will be looking to continue his run of form in the ODI series. However, against a quality spinner like Chahal, the task will not be easy. The right-armer is used brilliantly by skipper Kohli in the middle overs to pluck up wickets and Pooran, who struggles against slow bowling attack, may face some trouble.
(With inputs from PTI)