As the World Cup draws closer, India has been using the ongoing series against West Indies as an opportunity to experiment with their batting order. During a modest chase of 115 runs in the first ODI at Kensington Oval, the pitch proved to be challenging for both teams, resulting in 15 wickets falling to spin.
Despite the wicket’s difficulties, India managed to secure victory with five wickets in hand. Ishan Kishan’s impressive half-century would have given the team management some confidence as they finalise their World Cup squad.
Kuldeep Yadav was preferred over Yuzvendra Chahal in the first match and justified his selection with a brilliant performance, even though he bowled only three overs. His partnership with Ravindra Jadeja wreaked havoc on the West Indies batting lineup, leading to a cheap dismissal of the hosts.
Mukesh Kumar had a decent debut game, and India even tried the experiment of using Hardik Pandya as an opening bowler, which yielded some success. It is likely that India will continue to explore such combinations in the second ODI as they aim to clinch the series and extend their impressive winning streak of 10 ODIs against the West Indies.
On the other hand, the West Indies will have their work cut out for them as they seek to challenge India. Their batting, in particular, has been disappointing, with four of the top five batsmen getting into double digits but failing to convert them into substantial scores.
However, their bowling showed promise, as they managed to keep India in check despite setting a low total. Shai Hope, who top-scored with 43 runs, will be hoping for better support from the other batsmen and expects more application and better shot-making going forward.
The upcoming second ODI is scheduled to take place on July 29 at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados, starting at 7:00 PM IST (9:30 AM local time). The pitch is expected to offer bounce and spin similar to the first match, providing challenges for both pacers and spinners.
If India wins the toss, they might opt to bat first to challenge their batsmen on a potentially tricky surface. However, there could be interruptions due to showers forecasted in the first half of the day.
In terms of team selection, the West Indies may consider bringing in Keacy Carty, who provides a batting option and could replace Mayers, who has struggled in ODIs recently. Carty’s impressive 87-run outing against Sri Lanka could work in his favour.
Meanwhile, India may stick with their current lineup, giving the players another chance to prove their worth ahead of the World Cup, thus avoiding too many changes.
As the series progresses, both teams will look to fine-tune their strategies and combinations in preparation for the highly-anticipated World Cup later this year.
IND vs WI 2nd ODI: Playing XI
West Indies Probable XI: Brandon King, Alick Athanaze, Shai Hope (C & wk), Keacy Carty, Shimron Hetmyer, Rovman Powell, Romario Shepherd, Dominic Drakes, Yannic Cariah, Gudakesh Motie, Jayden Seales
India Probable XI: Rohit Sharma (C), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Ishan Kishan (wk), Hardik Pandya, Suryakumar Yadav, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Umran Malik, Mukesh Kumar