West Indies’ batsmen put up a great show of their skill in the first ODI against India in Chennai in a three match series, and now would be looking forward to win the series by winning the second match that will be played today in Visakhapatnam (Vizag).
If West Indies win the series by winning this match, or the final match (if India wins this one), they will put an end to their 13 yearlong defeat haul against Indian in ODI format.
Since 1979, Indian and the Caribbean side have played a total of 131 ODIs (One Day Internationals) against one another, out of which the West Indies’ side have emerged victorious 63 times, however, since 2006, the West Indies team have not won any bilateral ODI series against India.
Additionally, for the Indian side, this match and series as a whole holds great importance. In the past 15 years, India have never lost 2 bilateral ODI series at home one after the other, and as India was defeated by Australia when they came to Indian in February-March of 2019 with the series ended at Australia 3- 2 India, now India have another reason to be motivated to win not only today’s match, but the series at large.
The last time India consecutively lost a bilateral series at home was back when India lost a 7 match ODI series against West Indies (4-3) in 2002/03 and then lost against Pakistan 4-2 in 2004/05 in 6 match ODI series.
Morover, India have never lost 5 ODIs back to back when playing at home, and right now India have lost their last 4 ODI matches – 3 matches against Australia in Feb-March 2019 series, and last ODI played against West Indies – and to avoid this record that no team would want, they need to win today’s match in Vizag put bring out the best team possible.
In the last match, centurions Shai Hope and Shimron Heymyer bashed both Kedar Jadhav and Ravindra Jadeja as the team in Maroon successfully chased 288 with 8 wickets in hand and 13 balls to spare. Virat Kohli could change the spinner combination and reunite the tried and tested wrist spin duo Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, which can slow down the West Indies side.
Also, this time the top 3 batsmen in the Indian batting order cannot fail to perform, in the opener match of the series at Chennal, Roht Sharma, K L Rahul, and Virat Kohli went back to the dressing room with just 80 runs on the scoreboard. It was only Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer’s innings that made India reach a respectable score.
The last time India’s top order failed to perform, India were kicked out of the World Cup, and as Shikhar Dhawan is out due to injury, Indian team rely heavily on the skipper and Rohit Sharma.
Having said this, with the prior records, and the motivation of not setting 2 records – losing 2 consecutive bilateral series in last 15 years, and losing 5 consecutive ODIs at home – India would be the favourites on the field. Additionally, since 2005 India have won 6 matches out of 9 matches played at the ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium, Vizag, and only lost 1.