India take on West Indies in the second One-Day International (ODI) at the Dr. Y.S.R. ACA VDCA Cricket Stadium, Visakhapatnam. Windies outplayed India in all departments in the first match at Chennai to go 1-0 up in the three-match series. While India will be on the look out to level the series, Windies on the other hand, will look to wrap up their first ODI series win over India since 2006.
India and West Indies have met each other 131 times in the 50-over format. West Indies have taken a slight edge, winning 63, while India have won 62. While playing in India, The Windies – with the win in Chennai – have now won 28, while India have managed 27 victories. The win at Chepauk was West Indies’ first ever win over India in the last five completed encounters.
The humidity at Visakhapatnam will be on the higher side, but there is no prediction of rain on match day. Like in Chennai, we should have a full game.
A total of eight ODIs have been played at the Dr. Y.S.R. ACA VDCA Cricket Stadium. Incidentally, the last ODI at this venue was between India and West Indies, a high-scoring tie in October last year. The numbers suggest that over the last three ODIs the surface here has been similar for both batsmen and bowlers. While batsmen have scored runs at an average of 34.7 runs per wicket, the bowlers have returned a wicket every 36.6 balls – both moderate numbers.
On the bowling front, spinners have been more effective here, as compared to their pace bowling counterparts. In the last three ODIs played at this venue, spinners have taken 25 of total 40 wickets to fall. Spinners have picked up a wicket in every 29.1 deliveries whereas the seamers have picked up a wicket in every 51.5 deliveries.
So, a spin-dominated side is imperative. On the bowling front, left-arm wrist spinners have done really well at this venue having picked a wicket every 20 balls in two games. Not far behind are leg-spinners, who have picked up a wicket every 25.1 balls in three outings. In this case, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal might both get a game. Off-spinners have also been pretty effective here while left-arm orthodox spinners have had pretty nominal returns. A combination of five frontline batsmen including the wicket-keeper, a spin-bowling all-rounders, two spinners and two fast bowlers could be the way to go for this Test.
Here is my fantasy team for the upcoming encounter between India and West Indies:
KL Rahul, Shai Hope (wk), Virat Kohli (c), Shimron Hetmyer, Shreyas Iyer, Roston Chase, Hayden Walsh, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Sheldon Cottrell, Mohammed Shami
1-0 down, a series to save, backs to the wall, these are the circumstances Virat Kohli likes and he finds himself in one again. Kohli managed just four runs in the first ODI, at Chennai and he will be hungry to make amends. What should further convince you to make him your captain is Kohli’s brilliant record at Visakhapatnam. He has scored a fifty or more every time he has come on to bat in ODIs on this ground. In five innings at this venue, Kohli averages a mammoth 139, which includes two half-centuries and three hundreds. His scores at this venue read: 118, 117, 99, 65 and 157*.
Shai Hope has had a terrific year in which he has scored 1,225 runs at an average of 61.25. Also, among openers who have played at least 10 innings in 2019, his average of 101.62 is the highest. He is also a safe wicketkeeper, having inflicted 28 dismissals this year, only Tom Latham (30) and Alex Carey (34) have more. Hope’s steady century in the first ODI was a key reason behind West Indies’ win. He has been the mainstay of West Indies’ batting this year and will want to continue his excellent run in Visakhapatnam as well.
Shimron Hetmyer might blow hot and cold but when he fires, he is simply unstoppable as he showed in Chennai. His 139 in Chennai was filled with breathtaking strokes as he looked well at home against pace and spin alike. He likes facing the Indian bowlers as his average of 51, which is well above his career of 39.29, suggests. Hetmyer has good memories of the Vizag ground too. In the only game he played here, Hetmyer smashed 94 in just 64 balls. Hetmyer is one player, who on his day, can change the course of a match and guarantee you maximum points.
Yuzvendra Chahal would have been hurt by his omission in Chennai and will want to prove his worth in the second ODI. The leg-spinner has been terrific in fifty over games this year. In 16 Odis this year, Chahal has returned 29 wickets striking every 29.4 balls. Chahal along with Kuldeep is the leading wicket taker in ODI among spin bowlers in 2019. Both of them have picked up 29 wickets each. Leg-spinners have a good record at Visakhapatnam and Chahal will want to strike big. However, there are chances Chahal might not get selected. If he does not get a game, you could go for Sheldon Cottrell in your side.