India hope batsmen find form in 2nd ODI
After narrowly escaping defeat in the series opener, India will look to guard against complacency and hope for an improved showing from their batsmen when they take on the West Indies in the second One-dayer in Visakapatnam on Thursday.
The opening match of the five-match series in Cuttack two days ago saw an inexperienced Indian bowling restrict the Caribbean side for a paltry 211 for nine.
But chasing the modest total, India's much-fancied batting line-up faltered and if not for comeback man Rohit Sharma's 99-ball 72, the home team could have been down 0-1 in the series.
But India would like to put that dramatic win behind them and look to stretch their winning streak at the Dr Y S Rajasekhara Reddy ACA-VDCA Cricket Stadium when they face the Windies on Thursday.
Image: Rohit Sharma
'There is no excuse for anybody not scoring runs'
Considered a run-belter the Indian batsmen will hope to find some form on this track.
India's stand-in captain Virender Sehwag, who is leading the side in place of regular skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, has already cautioned the batsmen after the Cuttack match, saying there should not be any excuse for poor show.
"There is no excuse for anybody not scoring runs," he said about India's batting collapse in the first ODI. We have to back our batting. We have some exciting youngsters playing for last three four years," Sehwag said.
But in the absence of senior players like Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh and Sachin Tendulkar, the cricket-crazy crowd of the port city would be looking towards Sehwag to produce a good innings on Friday.
Image: Virender Sehwag
Gambhir, Kohli will look to make amends
Sehwag will also be keen to improve his batting record as captain. He averages a poor 21.50 with 44 being his best score from eight matches as skipper.
Wicket-keeper Parthiv Patel also would be eyeing to make amends for his poor show in Cuttack and cash in on yet another opportunity with both bat and gloves in place of Dhoni.
Among other Indian top-order batsmen, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina, who all disappointed in Cuttack, will be desperate to get among the runs.Apart from Rohit, all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja was the other Indian batsmen to provide some resistance in the first ODI with a gritty 62-ball 38, and he would be hoping to convert his starts into big scores.
Image: West Indies' Kemar Roach (left) celebrates with teammates after dismissing India's Gautam Gambhir in the 1st ODI
Indian bowlers were impressive
The inexperienced Indian bowlers were however impressive in the first ODI.
The three-pronged pace attack of Vinay Kumar, Yadav and Aaron stood up and grabbed their chances with both hands so far in the absence of seniors like Zaheer Khan and Praveen Kumar. And the trio would once again look to strangle the West Indies batsmen with a tidy performance. On the spin department front, R Ashwin, who bowled tightly in the first ODI, would like to continue his dream form.Ashwin will share the responsibility of spin attack with Jadeja and part-timers Raina and Rohit as India are all set to field an unchanged side on Friday in search of a 2-0 lead.
Image: India's Vinay Kumar (right) and his teammate Rohit Sharma (left) appeal successfully for the wicket of West Indies' Adrian Barath in the 1st ODI
Windies need to sort our batting woes
West Indies too have problems galore in their batting department which they need to sort out immediately to stand in with any chance of upsetting the home team in the ODI series after the 2-0 loss in the Test rubber.
In the first ODI, all the West Indies top-order batsmen got starts but except Darren Bravo, no one could capitalise on them.
Bravo, who scored a 74-ball 60 in the first match, will be the batting mainstay for the Caribbean side, which is full of all-rounders.
But the need of the hour for captain Darren Sammy is a solid opening foundation and he would bank on Lendl Simmons, who has a good record against the Indians, and Adrian Barath for that.For the West Indies, the last match was another so-near-yet-so far story in the series. And it remains to be seen whether they learn from the mistakes, having let India win from a precarious position in the first ODI.
Image: West Indies' Darren Bravo (left) hits a shot as India's wicketkeeper Parthiv Patel fields during their first one-dayer
Sammy looks at Pollard to fire
With good knowledge of subcontinental conditions, big-hitting all-rounder Kieron Pollard will be the key man for the visitors and the West Indies think-tank may just look to bring him up the order.
"We all have seen what he (Pollard) has done here in IPL. Last time he played in the World Cup, he batted well. He has a lot of knowledge about the Indian conditions and Indian players having played here for three seasons," skipper Sammy had said.
"We look forward to his knowledge and experience. We will look to use that into effect," Sammy added.The Kemar Roach-led West Indies bowling attack, however, showed in the last match that they have what it takes to trouble the famed Indian batsmen on their home ground.
Image: Kieron Pollard
Roach cashes in at Rampaul's expense
In the absence of Ravi Rampaul, who was rested, Roach, who picked up three wickets, and his colleagues dished out lethal performance to make life difficult for the Indian batsmen.
But the spin department remains a worry for Sammy and the visitors may just look to strengthen the area by handing out a debut to off-spinner Sunil Narine, who was impressive in this year's Champions League T20 in India.
India: Virender Sehwag (captain), Parthiv Patel (wk), Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, R Vinay Kumar, Varun Aaron, Umesh Yadav, Ajinkya Rahane, Manoj Tiwary, Abhimanyu Mithun and Rahul Sharma.
West Indies: Darren Sammy (captain), Lendl Simmons, Adrian Barath, Marlon Samuels, Darren Bravo, Danza Hyatt, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin (wk), Andre Russell, Kemar Roach, Anthony Martin, Jason Mohammed, Sunil Narine, Kieran Powell and Ravi Rampaul.
Field umpires: Tony Hill (NZ), S Ravi; Third: Sudhir
Asnani, Fourth: Anil Chowdhury; Match Referee: David Boon (AUS).
Match starts: 2.30pm (IST).
Image: Kemar Roach