After a damp squib at the Providence thanks to persistent rain and inadequate playing conditions, the 3-match ODI series is effectively now a two-game shootout with very little margin for error. That off-course, if rain relents as the forecast of Trinidad & Tobago does not inspire any confidence either. If it does relent though, we could be in for a cracker of a contest with various sub-plots playing around in the background. One of the most endearing images of the washout from Guyana was Chris Gayle and Indian captain Virat Kohli shaking their legs and re-living some of their days at the RCB.
On Sunday, both of these legends will be on the cusp of breaking a record. While Gayle will become the first West Indian to bring up ODI No.300 for the island nation, Kohli is 18 runs away from becoming the leading run-scorer for any side against the West Indies. The Indian captain has 1912 runs from 33 innings against the Windies and if he does get those 18 elusive runs in the second ODI, Kohli will break Javed Miandad's 25-year-old record; a feat he achieved in 33 innings.
But, off-course, it is not only about records. It is about the big picture. It is about life after the disappointment of the last World Cup and re-building the team for the next four-year cycle. From that context, the two people who will be the most disappointed from the washout at Guyana would be Shreyas Iyer and Kedar Jadhav. Iyer, after having waited for so long for his chance finally got an opportunity to lay his credentials as the ideal No.4 batsman and finally end the long-standing debate about the No.4.
As for Kedar Jadhav, with age no longer on his side and him not being part of the T20I set-up, every ODI is important for him to stake his permanent claim in the One-day side. West Indies, on the other hand, would hope the 'Universe Boss' lights up his 300th ODI. Gayle struggled during his 31-ball-4 in the first ODI and was one of the major reasons that the hosts got off to a sedate start in the first ten overs despite Evin Lewis going hammer and tongs at Khaleel Ahmed.
The opening combination was the headache for the West Indies right through the World Cup, and if they are to get back to winning ways, Gayle and Lewis will have to find a way to counter the early threat posed by Bhubaneswar Kumar and Mohammad Shami, and allow their middle-order to play with a platform against the likes of Kuldeep Yadav and Jadeja during the middle-overs.
Venue- Port of Spain, Trinidad & Tobago
Match Day- Sunday, August 11, 2019, 07:00 PM IST
What to expect?
While there is a forecast for showers, it isn't bad enough for the game to be called off. So, we should expect a complete game today. The pitch at Port of Spain is traditionally very slow and assists the spinners, especially in the second half.
Do you know?
- Chris Gayle will become the first West Indian to complete 300 ODIs. He is also six runs away from becoming the leading run-scorer for the Windies in One-day cricket.
- Virat Kohli is 19 runs away from becoming the leading run-scorer against the West Indies.
- The last time both these sides played at Port of Spain, the visitors won the game comprehensively by 105 runs.
- India has not lost an ODI series against the West Indies since their 1-4 loss back in 2006.
Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope [wk], Nicolas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Roston Chase, Jason Holder [c], Carlos Brathwaite, Fabian Allen, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas
Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli [c], Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant [wk], Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammad Shami