The ODI series between West Indies and India got off to a rather one-sided start on Thursday and the hosts will hope to be much more competitive when the second game of the three takes place in Barbados on Saturday.
It was all too easy for India in the opening game and they have the chance to wrap the series up with a match to spare if they can come out on top here. Just being competitive will be a start for West Indies but they must win if they are to force a decider.
We knew that West Indies were on the decline in ODI cricket but it really hit home just how bad things have got for them in the opening game. You don’t like to ridicule a side but their batting effort was little more than shambolic and while they fought hard with the ball in hand when they were attempting to defend an absolutely nothing score, they were never really in winning contention and really were done and dusted inside 10 overs with the bat.
It goes without saying that West Indies have to be more competitive in this match. I understand that on what looked to be a good batting wicket they were going in search of runs but so many of their dismissals were poor options and not really giving themselves the best chance of succeeding. The way they played the spinners was pitiful and that clearly has to improve. If they can find some runs then their bowlers showed that they might be able to deliver something.
I daresay India wouldn’t have believed how easy the opening game of the series was for them. They will know they were expected to win the match but they would probably have expected a little more resistance against them than they faced. They certainly won’t mind winning as comfortably as they did but if this series is being used for preparation ahead of the World Cup then the opening game probably did nothing to serve its purpose.
India will be delighted that all of their key bowlers were among the wickets in the first game and while they will want to be much more ruthless with the bat in hand they probably knew in their heart of hearts that they had done the majority of the job in their bowling innings. They will want to show at some point in the series that they can score the big amount of runs which will be needed to win a World Cup on home soil but there is still time for that.
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It would be a major surprise if West Indies don’t make changes for this match. The Rovman Powell lean spell has gone on for far too long so he is vulnerable to the chop. Alzarri Joseph and Oshane Thomas are waiting for their chance.
There is no need for India to make any changes to a side that was so comfortable in the opening game but at some point you would imagine they will want to take a look at Sanju Samson, although they might decide to get the series won before that happens.
Given that there has been less than 48 hours between the first match ending and this one beginning you’ve got to think that we will be playing on the same pitch as the opener in which case spin is clearly going to be a key factor in the game. Seven West Indies wickets fell to spin in the first game and three of the five Indian wickets also went to the tweakers as well. The question is how best to play the spinners in this game. I did consider taking Kuldeep Yadav to be the leading India bowler again but I’m a little concerned that he was the sixth bowler used in the first game and three of his wickets were tail enders.
It might be the best way to play this match is to jump on the performance of Ravindra Jadeja. He is going to be heavily involved in this game. He was the first spinner introduced in the first game and took three wickets and had already snaffled a catch by that time. He then saw India home with an unbeaten 16 batting at five and while he might not bat that high here, there is nothing to suggest he won’t bat. His performance line is 46.5 here which he covered in the field with 70 points in the first game and would have had another 27 overs to kick on and close in on it with the bat had the target not been reached. I expect Jadeja to be a key man here so I like the over in his performance.
Back R.Jadeja’s Performance – Over 46.5pts for a 3/10 stake at 1.83 with Bet365
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