All eyes will be on the recently crowned Champions Trophy winners as India take on West Indies in the second match of the tri-nation cricketing series at Sabina Park. But West Indies are no slackers as they proved in the tournament’s opening match against Sri Lanka, winning comfortably with over 12-overs to spare. This, thus, becomes an exciting contest to watch out for.
West Indies: Chris Gayle is firing on all cylinders and West Indies will be expecting him to rise to the occasion yet again. Marlon Samuels, Darren Sammy and Dwayne Bravo are the other batsmen who will form the crux of the West Indian batting armour against India. As regards their bowling is concerned, the team will be placing their bets strongly on Narine, Rampaul, Roach and Bravo to get the job done thriftily.
India: Batting, check. Bowling, check. And fielding too, check. This Indian squad is a complete all-round unit and their performance can be expected to justify these claims. Dhawan and Sharma’s easy fit into the opening order has also allowed the rest of the batting order to perform freely without worrying about lack of runs at the top of the order. All-in-all, each team member is working in tandem with the others allowing for no lapses in performance by any player.
West Indies: The last time that India played West Indies – in the Champions Trophy – the West Indian squad fell hugely short of their potential. Though the one match that the team has played is not enough to determine major weaknesses and fault-lines within the team, based on their last performance against India, West Indies would need to primarily address issues that caused their toppling in the Champions Trophy.
India: Against England in the Champions Trophy final, the Indian middle-order crumbled without offering any resistance to the English bowlers. India would need to avoid a repeat of the scenario against West Indies so as to continue their seven-match uninterrupted winning-run, starting from the Champions Trophy warm-up matches.
Opportunities and Threats
West Indies: West Indies have a chance to qualify for the finals thus aptly consolidating their last match victory. The Indian team will be hampered by exhaustion and tiredness and West Indies need to take advantage of these factors to the fullest.
India: This tripartite tournament gives a huge chance for India to position themselves even more strongly as an ODI team. India have won five of their previously played six matches at West Indies under Dhoni’s captaincy and they would be keen to extend this winning run as well. Lack of time gap between their last tourney and this tournament could give India some problems thus posing a threat to their well-balanced performances so far.
The pitch again is expected to behave in the same fashion as it did in the opening game between Sri Lanka and West Indies. Bowlers would find sway and both teams would be keen to win the toss and put the opponent to bat first.
India defeat West Indies in yet another average-scoring match.