West Indies vs India 2nd T20I: Preview and Prediction
After a dream start to the T20I series with a triumph, West Indies will challenge India in the 2nd T20I to be held at the Providence Stadium, Guyana on Sunday. After two encounters in the Brian Lara Cricket Academy, the caravan shifts through the path of 2210 km to its southeast where the second and third T20I is going to be staged.
The first of the five-match T20I series saw thrill and anticipation when the Rovman Powell-led side dominated a relatively amateur Indian contingent. Nicholas Pooran transpired his tremendous franchise-level form to the national hue and was succoured by the skipper after batting first after winning the toss. The top order contributed in bits and exerted pressure on the middle order. Pooran’s 41 (34) and Powell’s 48 (32) helped the home side boost the total to 149 at the stroke of 20 overs.
Arriving for the chase, Shubman Gill was stumped early off Akeal Hosein’s bowling and the in-form Ishan Kishan followed him within the powerplay. The Mumbai Indians’ duo of Suryakumar Yadav and Tilak Varma stitched 38 runs together for the third wicket and eased off the tricky phase to some extent.
Just when the Men in Blue seemed to be on track for the tricky chase, Suryakumar fell to Jason Holder. The debutant, Varma, notched up quick 39 runs from deliveries that saw three sixes and two boundaries, remaining the top scorer of the team. Hardik Pandya overshadowed Sanju Samson in the batting order at no. 5 but failed to get along. The lower middle order succumbed to the building pressure and eventually the equation came down to the final over with Kuldeep Yadav and Arshdeep Singh at either end.
Romario Shepherd successfully defended 10 runs off the ultimate over, initiating with a peach of a yorker, knocking the pegs of Kuldeep Yadav. With the tail failing to do the needful, West Indies won by a margin of four runs. Jason Holder was exceptional with the ball, extracting the wickets of Suryakumar and Hardik, and fetched the Player of the Match award.
What have they done so far?
There have been some positives for West Indies in the series across the formats after the embarrassing show at the World Cup Qualifiers. Firstly, they bounced back with grit and determination in the red-ball format after incurring a drubbing in the 1st Test by an innings and 141 runs. The second Test was a draw and despite the final-day washout, courtesy goes to the batting unit for denying easy wickets to the Indian bowlers.
Leaping onto the ODI series, West Indies compelled the touring side to put in the hard yards to earn a 2-1 series victory. The first ODI was a comprehensive victory for Rohit Sharma and co. but the second ODI saw a disguised Windies side that edged past their counterparts, chasing down 181 runs with six wickets to spare.
The third ODI was a contest won by the Indian batters and the Tarouba strip was cruel enough not to assist much in the first innings, leaving India to pile up 351 runs on the board. The Men in Maroon failed to cope with the humongous target and crumbled under pressure, losing by 200 runs.
Talk about the head-to-head battle between West Indies and India in T20Is, the latter remains ahead with 17 wins from 26 matches. Their counterparts could win just 8 clashes with the latest being in the first T20I.
Nicholas Pooran (West Indies): The former West Indies captain continued from where he left in the 2023 Major League Cricket. He smashed 388 runs from eight matches with a spellbinding average of 64.66. It also included a berserk 137 (55)* against the Seattle Orcas in the grand finale which helped MI New York claim the maiden title.
The Caribbean wicketkeeper-batter transpired his good form into the international circuit after gelling an important knock of 41 (34) when it mattered the most. He initiated the innings in an aggressive fashion but later had to play the situation and did well.
Yuzvendra Chahal (India): A lot of Caribbean cricketers fall prey to wrist spinners, provided the conditions assist the bowling side. A glimpse of the abovesaid was witnessed when Yuzvendra Chahal extracted the first two wickets of the home side in the first T20I.
Chahal is a witty customer and has a healthy experience of playing in these conditions. He has rubbed shoulders with a lot of the opposition batters in the Indian Premier League and henceforth can be backed to be a key asset in India’s bowling armoury.
West Indies: Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Johnson Charles, Nicholas Pooran (wk), Rovman Powell ©, Shimron Hetmyer, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Romario Shepherd, Alzarri Joseph, Obed McCoy
India: Ishan Kishan (wk), Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav, Sanju Samson, Tilak Varma, Hardik Pandya ©, Axar Patel, Kuldeep Yadav, Arshdeep Singh, Mukesh Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal
India has been pushed on the back foot at the start for the first time in this particular series against West Indies. Although the Men in Maroon are inherited to dominate this form of the game, one can expect Hardik Pandya’s men to thrust back in Guyana.