India, Windies eager to draw first blood

Virat Kohli
It has been smooth sailing for Indian skipper Virat Kohli so far in the series. AFP

Port of Spain: After rain played spoilsport in the first One-Day International (ODI) of the three-match series in Guyana, India and the West Indies have moved to the Queen's Park Oval for the second game and both teams will be looking to seize the initiative. Interestingly, Chris Gayle has been ignored for the Test series, so this game and the last one at the same venue could be the last couple of times that one sees the legend take the field on the international stage.

For India, it will be about starting afresh after a disappointing loss in the semifinal of the 2019 World Cup. The batting looks solid at the top with Shikhar Dhawan coming back to join Rohit Sharma and skipper Virat Kohli will once again get to play freely at the No.3 position as he doesn't need to worry about building the innings as he had to during the showpiece event in England.

The middle-order kind of picks itself as the team didn't get to bat in the opening game. So while Shreyas Iyer should get another go after having made the XI in the first game, Rishabh Pant definitely will be playing the role of the finisher unless there is a top-order collapse. Kedar Jadhav is also set to get a game over Manish Pandey as was the case in the opening tie.

In the bowling department, Mohammed Shami looked mighty impressive as he gave away just 5 runs in the three overs that he bowled in the opening match. But with young Khaleel Ahmed taking some stick from Evin Lewis, going from 27 from his three overs, it could be interesting to see if the Indian team management decides to give Navdeep Saini his ODI cap as he was pretty impressive in the T20I series.

Kuldeep Yadav should once again get the nod over Yuzvendra Chahal as he picked the lone wicket to fall on the day in Guyana - Chris Gayle. He will be supported by Ravindra Jadeja as the left-arm spinner can also wield the willow.
For the West Indies, after the loss in the T20I series, it will all be about playing for pride. Also, Gayle playing his last series for the Windies should add to the motivation factor for the hosts.

The squads: West Indies: Chris Gayle, Kemar Roach, Carlos Brathwaite, Jason Holder (capt), Evin Lewis, Sheldon Cottrell, Nicholas Pooran, Fabian Allen, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope (wk), Roston Chase, John Campbell, Keemo Paul, Oshane Thomas

India: Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Virat Kohli (capt), Shikhar Dhawan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kedar Jadhav, Mohammed Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Khaleel Ahmed, Manish Pandey, Yuzvendra Chahal, Lokesh Rahul, Navdeep Saini.

Match starts at 7 pm

Live telecast on Sony Ten 1 and Sony Ten 3 (both SD and HD)

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