Visitors brace for yet another onslaught from India.
Visakhapatnam: Equipped with a top-order that is riding an unprecedented run of rich form, India are favoured to extend their dominance while West Indies face insurmountable odds to draw parity, in the second ODI here on Wednesday.
It has been a mismatch of gigantic proportions so far and it looks highly unlikely that West Indies would have much of a chance against the well-oiled machine that India seem to be at home. If captain Virat Kohli adds another 81 runs to his awe-inspiring tally, he will become the fastest man to 10,000 runs in this format, surpassing the iconic Sachin Tendulkar.
The possibility of this record being broken has added to the excitement of the port city’s frenzied fans. Tendulkar took 259 innings to get there and Kohli has so far batted 204 times. Notwithstanding the Indian bowlers’ profligate display, albeit on a belter, the home team made easy work of what looked like a stiff 323-run target in the series opener, taking a 1-0 lead in the five-match rubber.
In Guwahati, India unleashed their batting might as Kohli and opener Rohit Sharma, arguably the two best batsmen in the 50-over game at the moment, smashed big hundreds in quick time. Finishing the game with eight overs to spare was a statement of sorts, and another blow to the West Indies’ morale.
However, despite the convincing margin of victory, India will be better off with a bit of frugality from their bowlers at the Dr. Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy ACA–VDCA Cricket Stadium.
Besides, India are unlikely to get enough opportunities to test their middle-order against this West Indies attack, what with the home team’s top three batsmen in the mood to plunder runs. But the lack of enough game-time for their middle-order may not hold India in good stead in the run-up to the World Cup.
Kohli knows his team is thin in the bowling department, and West Indies made full use of the weakness, though the visiting team’s attack too, was taken to the task. In the absence of Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the Indian seamers were not up to the mark in Guwahati.