Saturday, 11 October 2014

2nd ODI: India opt to bat against Windies

NEW DELHI: Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni won the toss and elected to bat against the West Indies in the second cricket one-dayer on Saturday.

While West Indies, who won the opening ODI, are unchanged, India have brought in Umesh Yadav to replace the injured Mohit Sharma.

Starting the series as overwhelming favourites, India's inept batting in the first match led to a crushing 124-run defeat against a side, which was threatening to pull-out of the series due to a payment dispute with their parent body and cricketer's union.

However with India's World Cup preparations starting with this series, Mahendra Singh Dhoni will be looking to set his combination in order before the team travels Down Under in six weeks time.

The batting slots are more or less fixed even though the side was shot out for a paltry 197 on a belter of a track at Kochi.

The biggest concern is Virat Kohli's prolonged lean patch since the tour of England. Even former skipper Sunil Gavaskar has spoken openly about Kohli's technical flaws but opined that the talented batsman should be dropped down the order to make him get back to his run-making ways.

India's fortunes in this series and their title defence in the upcoming 50-over showpiece event depends a lot on Kohli's form.

The only spot that is not confirmed is that of Ambati Rayudu, who has got a break due to Rohit Sharma's injury.

Rayudu has not exactly set the stage on fire and would like to make best use of the opportunities before a fit-again Rohit is available for selection.

The opening slot is also a matter of concern as Shikhar Dhawan, who was top-scorer in the first match, didn't look convincing with his shot selection. With Murali Vijay in the dressing room and Unmukt Chand waiting in the wings, the team management would expect Dhawan to pull up his socks.

Bowling is also a big worry for India as the hosts conceded 321 runs -- another 300 plus score on home soil in the past one year.


India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Capt.), Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Umesh Yadav.

West Indies: Dwayne Bravo (Capt.), Darren Smith, Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Denesh Ramdin, Kieron Pollard, Darren Sammy, Andre Russell, Sulieman Benn, Ravi Rampaul, Jerome Taylor.

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