Shreyas Iyer will be in focus as India take on West Indies in the second One-Day International of the three-match series, in Port of Spain on Sunday. The middle order batsman, who didn’t get game time during the T20 series, was in the playing XI during the rain-affected first game, which was abandoned after 13 overs in Guyana.
There is very little chance that India will tinker with their batting order so the Mumbaikar has a better chance of getting into action during the second game. Two matches will never be enough to cement his place but a couple of decent outings will surely reduce the pressure on him.
Iyer has had a good series with the India A team in the Caribbean, having hit two half centuries against the West Indies A. Support from skipper Virat Kohli’s and vice-captain Rohit Sharma will work wonders for the Delhi Capitals captain, who in full flow is a treat to watch.
The team combination for the first game is an indicator that after a decent World Cup at the top of the order post Shikhar Dhawan’s injury, KL Rahul is being looked at as a specialist opener who will only come in place of Dhawan or Rohit in case of an injury to any one of the two.
In case Bhuvneshwar Kumar wants some rest, Navdeep Saini could come in while a bit more turn on offer could get Yuzvendra Chahal back in the mix as an additional spinner. Left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed will then be dropped from the playing XI.
Khaleel went for 27 in three overs and was guilty of bowling short to opener Evin Lewis, who was on 40 when heavens opened up. However, both these possibilities look remote as of now since the last match got abandoned.
Also in the spotlight on Sunday will be Chris Gayle. The veteran will be playing his 300th ODI and will be eager to strike some form. The 39-year-old had a horrid outing in the first ODI of the series, getting out for four runs after facing 31 balls.
With the West Indies selection committee not paying heed to Gayle’s request for a farewell Test match at his home ground, the next two games could well be the last of his glorious career.
India: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kedar Jadhav, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Navdeep Saini.
West Indies: Jason Holder (capt), Chris Gayle, John Campbell, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran, Roston Chase, Fabian Allen, Carlos Brathwaite, Keemo Paul, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas, Kemar Roach.
[With inputs from PTI]