India vs West Indies: Dominant hosts eye another series win in Lucknow
India vs West Indies T20 International: India’s last win against the West Indies before Sunday came way back on March 23, 2014 in the World T20 in Bangladesh.cricket Updated: Nov 06, 2018 08:24 IST
Like millions of countrymen, Team India too seems to be in a festive mood. Skipper Rohit Sharma and his boys would be looking for a pre-Diwali bash on Tuesday by winning the second T20I against West Indies and the series along with that.
Going into the second T20I with a 1-0 lead in the three-match series after winning the first match by five wickets at Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday, India target a perfect celebration on Diwali, which falls on Wednesday.
In fact, the win at Kolkata helped India erase their four-match losing streak in T20Is against the Caribbean side. At Lucknow lies the perfect opportunity for India to seal a pretty one-sided home series on a high, especially on the back of winning the the two-Test series 2-0 and the ODI series 3-1.
Despite not having the services of Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni in the T20 series, India did well to not show any mercy to the defending World Twenty20 champions in Kolkata. A good bouncy wicket at the Ekana International Cricket Stadium is likely to further help them execute their strategy.
The long boundaries here, measuring 75-81 yards, will ensure batsmen have to do a lot of running between the wickets as boundaries may not come easily as the onset of dew might make the outfield sluggish.
The match will also be an opportunity for the team’s think-tank to chalk out their strategy for the T20 series in Australia, beginning later this month. In Kolkata, top-order batsmen like skipper Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant, and Manish Pandey couldn’t live up to the expectations.
It was only because of the experienced Dinesh Karthik and Krunal Pandya, who made his debut in Kolkata, did India reach home with 13 balls to spare. The script has to be different in Lucknow for the management to be assured of the team’s overall prowess.
India’s bowlers have been doing their job though. The Kolkata win was crafted mainly by the bowlers, especially chinaman Kuldeep Yadav, who finished with 3/13. Here, Bhuvneshwar Kumar — who missed out on playing in Kolkata due to a gastric ailment —would be the best man to spearhead India’s bowling along with Jasprit Bumrah.
For West Indies, who have earned the reputation of being T20 specialists, a win is absolutely necessary to stretch the series to Chennai. With their batting performance in the opening game proving to be below-par, onus will be on key batsmen like Kieron Pollard, Darren Bravo and skipper and all-rounder Carlos Braithwaite to play a bigger role in Tuesday’s match.
India: Rohit Sharma (Capt), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Dinesh Karthik, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, K Khaleel Ahmed, Umesh Yadav, Shahbaz Nadeem.
West Indies: Carlos Brathwaite (Capt), Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope Obed McCoy, Keemo Paul, Khary Pierre, Kieron Pollard, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Denesh Ramdin, Sherfane Rutherford, Oshane Thomas
First Published: Nov 05, 2018 19:23 IST