Published: November 5, 2018 8:08:27 pm
Dominating the West Indies since the first day of their tour, India would look to clinch another series win when both teams lock horns in the second T20I on Tuesday in Lucknow. Ending a four-match T20 losing streak at Eden Gardens in Kolkata, India will be considered favourites, who would look forward to register another thumping victory over the visitors. After the five-wicket win on Sunday, India have managed to better their head-to-head record against the current World T20 champions to 5-3 between 2009 and 2017.
Carrying the team’s responsibility in the absence of regular skipper Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma repeated his Asia Cup leadership heroics as the decisions executed by him fell perfectly in the favour of the Men In Blue. After failing to put up a gallantry show with the bat, the skipper on Tuesday would look forward to smash another match-winning knock that has earned him the title of ‘The Hitman’. Besides the captain, opener Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant and Manish Pandey also struggled as they failed to make any mark in the series-opener. However, a responsible 31-run knock by Dinesh Karthik and some hitting at the end by debutant Krunal Pandya saw India chase down the target with 13 balls to spare.
But come Tuesday, Lucknow, which is hosting its first international match at the newly-built Ekana Stadium, would be eager to see a more dominant performance from the home team, one that’s befitting the gulf in quality between the two sides.
In the bowling department, it was the left-arm chinaman Kuldeep Yadav who was the standout bowler for the Indian side. His spell of 3/13 helped India restrict the visitors under 110 in their respective 20 overs. Both debutants, Khaleel Ahmed and Pandya also chipped in as the visitors struggled against both the players. Khaleel gave away 16 runs in his four-over quota while Pandya gave 15.
After losing both the Test and ODI series, West Indies, on the other hand, would hope to stop the Indian brigade by putting up a better show in the second clash on Tuesday. The return of big names such as Kieran Pollard and Darren Bravo failed to make any significant impact as West Indies produced a below-par batting effort on Sunday. Andre Russell’s injury, which ruled him out of the series, has also dented their chances. Carlos Braithwaite (2/11) was impressive with the ball but the skipper also needs to inspire his team with some significant contributions with the bat.
Young pacer Oshane Thomas (2/21), who made his debut in Kolkata, troubled the Indian openers with his pace upfront but he needs support from the likes of Keemo Paul and others.
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
(With inputs from PTI)
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