West Indies v India, 2nd ODI, Port of Spain June 24, 2017

One eye on weather, one on India's middle order


Match Facts

June 25, 2017
Start time 0900 local (1300 GMT)

Play 01:50
India will be pleased with Ajinkya Rahane being among the runs

Big Picture

Nine am starts in a bilateral series, after a world tournament has ended, with rain in the air, is asking a lot of a spectator. But for those die-hard fans who will still make the trip to the Queens Park Oval, be advised. Port-of-Spain is expected to receive thundershowers on Sunday afternoon, so don't be surprised if you hit your head on a big red sign in front of the ground that says, "nothing to see here". The sensible lot would take the time to sleep in, but the players don't really have that luxury.

India, for example, might not have anyone to grumble "five more minutes, coach," to on this tour, but they do have a few rookies they'd want to get in shape. Left-arm wristspinner Kuldeep Yadav was handed a debut on Friday but he didn't even step on to the field with the match being washed out. Uncapped wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant was not in the XI, but considering the low stakes, it might be useful to give him as many starts as possible to see if he could fit in the 2019 World Cup puzzle.

In any case, it is starting to seem like the only way India can check on a middle-order batsman is if they can promote him to open. Typically it is their top order that fetches the bulk of the runs in ODIs - on Friday, Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane contributed 149 out of 199 before the rain came down.

West Indies - from 39.2 overs of play - looked steady, and their bowlers were especially clever against Virat Kohli. Pitching it short of a length and outside off stump - on a surface that gave them a little extra lift - they forced the India captain to return with a strike rate of 68. He couldn't get on top of the ball to bring his powerful wrists into play and he was rarely offered the drive as a means of escape. Take this attack lightly at your peril.

Form guide

West Indies WLLLW (completed matches, most recent first)

In the spotlight

At 20, Alzarri Joseph generates pace effortlessly, not unlike Kagiso Rabada, who already leads South Africa's attack in all formats. But that is only an asset when combined with discipline, and some creativity in the form of variations. Joseph showed with his dismissal of Rahane - an offcutter the batsman simply did not see coming - that he is more than ready for modern cricket.

The merits in retaining Yuvraj Singh, even though he is 35, become apparent when he is in form. A career-best 150 against England and a 29-ball fifty against Pakistan showcased the best of his timing. In fact, since his comeback in January 2017, he has averaged 45 and struck at 102.24. He might have to keep up that level of performance to ward off competition from the likes of Pant, Manish Pandey (injured) and KL Rahul (injured), though.

Team news

Considering the last match they played ended in a no-result, West Indies might want to persist with the same XI.

West Indies (probable): 1 Evin Lewis, 2 Kieran Powell, 3 Shai Hope (wk), 4 Jonathan Carter, 5 Jason Mohammed, 6 Roston Chase, 7 Jason Holder (capt), 8 Ashley Nurse, 9 Alzarri Joseph, 10 Devendra Bishoo, 11 Miguel Cummins,

India came to the Caribbean with two uncapped players. One of them - Kuldeep - has debuted already and the other - Pant - would be looking forward to a first ODI cap as well.

India (probable): 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 Ajinkya Rahane, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 MS Dhoni (wk), 6 Kedar Jadhav, 7 Hardik Pandya, 8 Kuldeep Yadav, 9 R Ashwin, 10 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 11 Umesh Yadav

Pitch and conditions

Before the first ODI, Jeffrey Dujon described the pitch at the Queens Park Oval as a "tie-dye t-shirt" by Jeffrey Dujon, implying that it was difficult to assess. The one thing he was certain of was that it would spin in the first innings and flatten out later.

Stats and trivia

  • The average run-rate batting first at the venue across 66 matches is 4.86. That translates to an average score of 243.
  • Dhawan and Rahane's last five ODI partnerships read: 83, 125, 56, 112, 132
  • Jason Holder has 48 wickets as West Indies captain - the same as Courtney Walsh

Fans in the Indian subcontinent will be able watch near-live clips of major events during the match on ESPNcricinfo, both on scorecard pages and story pages, and in case you miss watching the match live, you can catch all the highlights and stories told through videos on the site. And the entire series will be streamed live in the Indian subcontinent on ESPN.in and on SonyLIV

Alagappan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Shivaji on June 26, 2017, 16:17 GMT

    It's not only West Indies' bowling Indians should neglect at their own peril; the tour itself. The easy victory in the 2ODI at Trinidad notwithstanding. Why? Because the disappointment of the Champions Trophy has not dissipated yet. Critics of cricket, do not explain the defeat away as India's "one bad day" ( the Indian team had had another bad day, just the week before against Sri Lanka!). This West Indies tour, if taken seriously, will be of great benefit to the team. The cricketers know this, from the way they played in Trinidad.

    My plea to Kohli: Give the youngsters a chance. Shivaji

  •   #msd on June 26, 2017, 5:05 GMT

    West Indies teams line up. . S. Hope, e. Lewis, hetmeyer, l. Simmons, J. Carter, r. Chase,r.powell,a.nurse,d.bishoo, J. Gabriel, a. Joseph...

  • vijay.9533219 on June 25, 2017, 14:52 GMT

    good that jadeja is not in the playing 11. he needs some lesson on not taking his place in playing 11 for granted.

  • vijay.9533219 on June 25, 2017, 14:51 GMT

    two more ordinary matches and Ashwin will have to watch the future games on his home DTH connection. he is not bowling up to his potential.

  • ajithk0047176 on June 25, 2017, 14:48 GMT

    Maybe it is a good idea to give enough rope to uv so that you can drop him easy after crap performances

  • cricfan58501921 on June 25, 2017, 14:36 GMT

    All Senior players should have been rested for this series when WI playing with B team!!

  • Mohammad Zamin on June 25, 2017, 14:05 GMT

    What a waste of time playing cricket in this season first England and then West Indies

  • Speak on June 25, 2017, 14:04 GMT

    WHOA......... BIG PICTURE............By 12 noon I hypothesise that the match will be abandoned without a ball being bowled. The announcement will be made simultaneously as bright sunshine covers the ground . The outfield will be fine for cricket but there will be a wet 2 millimetre in diameter circular spot just past the wicket behind where the umpire stands but not in the bowlers run up. This would be the bone of contention as the captain of the WI will strongly object to the playing conditions.......... So Ample precaution had to be taken to protect the players as sawdust is in short supply since the passage of the cyclone Bret a few days ago. Since equipment for water removal is unheard of in that part of the world then there was no other choice but to call off the match. The 50 or so spectators who paid could be invited to collect a letter of apology at the exit booth on the way out. WICB will advise the paying public as whether the 3 th match will happen WHEATHER permit.

  • Ashok on June 25, 2017, 13:58 GMT

    I personally like to see Dhoni being rested to make room for Rishab Pant. There is absolutely no point in dragging a guy to WI only to bench him. The same goes for Shami- why is he benched consistently, no one knows! It is about time that Kohli puts his personal differences aside. IMO Shami is the best pace bowler in this India side. Bhuvi would have been the same in England environment. But to keep Shami from playing in XI for so long is unacceptable. My third point is it is a waste of time sending a Team to play against a Second WI team. Their first Team is amongst the last amongst all Cricketing Nations. To top it all weather & pitches in WI are unfavourable too. Is it worth the trip after the ICC CT?

  • Saifullah Farooqui on June 25, 2017, 13:54 GMT

    It looks like more points to gain for West Indies . They are playing really well.

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