India v West Indies, 2nd ODI, Visakhapatnam November 23, 2013

Weather the main focus in Vizag

The Preview by Alagappan Muthu

Match facts

Sunday, November 24, 2013
Start time 1330 local (0800 GMT)

Big Picture

Rain extended a foreboding welcome to both teams in Visakhapatman as their flight - delayed by 45 minutes - touched down amid a downpour. Cyclone Helen, the second storm to hit India's east coast in as many months, meant the outfield at the Rajasekhara Reddy Stadium was too soggy for either team to go through with their scheduled training sessions on the eve of the game. But officials at the ground were still confident of a full match on Sunday, provided there was no further rain.

West Indies have an abysmal pattern of batting collapses on this tour, which continued despite the more "familiar" environments of a limited-overs encounter. Darren Bravo was the only source of resolve in the first ODI, playing as close to his body as possible and consciously rotating the strike, while his peers including his brother and captain, Dwayne, perished to needless shots born from poor game sense.

Their quest for betterment will be impaired by Chris Gayle returning home to tend to a hamstring injury. Also, Ottis Gibson, the coach, was worried about his side's ability to execute plans. "At every stage, we are way ahead of our targets or on-par with where we want to be [but] we have lost one or two wickets too many," he said on the eve of the game.

India's list of concerns is rather thin, though Yuvraj Singh's reintegration to the one-day unit is still a work in progress. Starved of match-practice, he looked as woeful as he could be majestic when in form during his brief stay at the crease before India's victory in the last match. Suresh Raina faces a similar challenge, lacking in runs and pushed down from his position at No. 4 to allow Yuvraj some time in the middle.

Form guide

India WWWLW (last five completed games, most recent first)
West Indies LLLTW

In the spotlight

Johnson Charles was the only West Indian batsmen to defy the up-and-down Kochi pitch and score at over a run-a-ball. He has the capability to diminish the effect of Gayle's absence, with his proclivity to stay balanced and strike straight down the ground. The challenge, however, is whether he can remain at the crease long enough to provide a solid base, instead of just a handy cameo.

India's plans to groom Suresh Raina as a No. 4 batsman seem a fickle endeavour, as he was pushed down the order in Kochi and then bagged a duck. But he still made his presence felt in the game, with three top-order wickets. Will he have any impact in Visakhapatnam?

Team news

MS Dhoni is rather noted for sticking to a winning combination but seamer Jaydev Unadkat could not summon enough consistency in his six-over spell and might have to fend off stiff competition from the usually bankable Mohit Sharma.

India (probable) 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Suresh Raina, 5 Yuvraj Singh, 6 MS Dhoni (capt & wk), 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Jaydev Unadkat/Mohit Sharma, 11 Mohammed Shami

Chris Gayle's search for a quick single forced a rupture of his left hamstring and he had to be stretchered off the field. Kieran Powell, who opened for them in Tests, seems set to perform the role in the remaining ODIs. Gayle being ruled out could also be the lifeline Narsingh Deonarine needs to present himself in better light.

West Indies (probable) 1 Kieran Powell, 2 Johnson Charles (wk), 3 Darren Bravo, 4 Marlon Samuels, 5 Narsingh Deonarine, 6 Lendl Simmons, 7 Dwayne Bravo (capt), 8 Darren Sammy, 9 Sunil Narine, 10 Ravi Rampaul, 11 Jason Holder

Pitch and conditions

The outfield at Rajasekhara Reddy Stadium has been subjected to a lot of water over the past few days and the probability of rain on the day of the match cannot be ruled out.

Stats and trivia

  • Shikhar Dhawan needs four more runs to complete 1000 in ODIs for 2013
  • West Indies have crossed 250 five times in 21 matches this year, two of which were against Zimbabwe. They have been bundled out below 100 twice in the same period


"It's hard to pin-point the reason, but we have not batted 50 overs consistently, and I have been stressing this to the players."
Ottis Gibson, the West Indies coach, on what ails his team