After rain restricted the first ODI between West Indies and India to very little play, the series between the two sides is now effectively a two match one which means whoever wins the second ODI in Trinidad on Sunday will be assured a share of the spoils.
Largely the series outcome is aesthetic more than a desire. The main aim for these two sides is to prove they are better than their World Cup outcomes showed. That alone should make sure we see a competitive game.
We obviously didn’t find much out about the home side in that first game. The players were on and off in turgid conditions that didn’t really suit anyone so we probably shouldn’t even bother with what we did see. One thing that was interesting to note though was a different approach to their batting line up, with a bit of glue on offer in case it did all go wrong up top and that could be what they’ve taken from their World Cup disappointment.
That move also allowed them to play five out and out bowlers and while much of it could have been down to the fact that Andre Russell isn’t available at the minute, it will be interesting to see if that is an approach that works for them. We saw at times in that World Cup earlier in the summer that West Indies aren’t far away from being a forceful side once again. This could be what they need.
India went into the World Cup searching for the balance to their side, especially in the batting department, and to be fair they came out of it still looking. It isn’t easy to bat at four, five or six in this Indian side because the top three are so good that genuine batting opportunities are few and far between, but the time has come for someone to grab hold of those positions and make them their own.
I don’t think India have ever had too many problems with the ball, and they remain looking strong in that department, with a number of options available to them depending on conditions and injuries and things like that. That should take the pressure off their batsmen but it doesn’t always work out that way. There isn’t the pressure of a World Cup semi-final on their shoulders here so it will be interesting to see how it goes.
We didn’t really see enough in that first game to judge what might happen in the series but given that we barely got through the first round of sparring it would be a bit of a surprise if there is a change to either side.
This is Chris Gayle’s 300th ODI and generally big players look to mark landmarks with big performances so all eyes will be on the West Indies legend to see what fireworks he can deliver in this one.
I’ll go with the one bet in this match in the hope that the weather stays longer than it did in Guyana in the first game. The forecast suggests that it will so you would expect India to win the game in the Trinidad conditions but I always think this is a venue that can inspire West Indies so I’d rather leave the match outcome alone and take one from the side markets.
That comes in the performance of West Indies captain Jason Holder, for who this is a big match. Generally after a World Cup there is wholesale change and if West Indies flop over the next few weeks the pressure will come on the shoulders of Holder so a big match from him here could be useful. He is the kind of bowler that Indian batsmen don’t like – one that gets extra bounce off a full length and he showed that with a couple of wickets in the World Cup match between the two. He is also a more than useful batsman and is going to field around the bat so a line of 44.5 should be more than achievable for a cricketer who still flies under the radar somewhat. I’m on the over here.
Back J.Holder’s Performance – Over 44.5pts for a 4/10 stake at 1.83 with Bet365