A dominating performance with the bat from West Indies in the second T20I of the three-match series saw the visitors register an 8-wicket victory against the hosts at Thiruvananthapuram. With this win, West Indies levelled the three-match series 1-1 and kept their chances of winning the series alive.
Opting to field first, West Indies did well to get rid of the Indian openers cheaply. However, a new move to promote Shivam Dube at No.3 worked well for India as the southpaw scored a 30-ball 54 that handed India some much-needed momentum in the first half of the innings. However, the other Indian batsmen failed to score big and India ended up with 170-7 in 20 overs.
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Chasing 171, West Indies made a slow start, scoring just 26 from the first five overs. However, things changed dramatically as the openers shifted the gears and started to find the boundaries with ease.
Lendl Simmons (45-ball 67*) and Evin Lewis (35-ball 40*) put on a 73-run partnership before Shimron Hetmyer (14-ball 23) and Nicholas Pooran (18-ball 38*) contributed with some fireworks that took West Indies over the line with 1.3 overs to spare.
The defeat in the second T20I will make India think over their strategy, execution and performance while batting first in the shortest format, a move that has not produced ideal results for the Virat Kohli-led side. On that note, here are three reasons why India lost the second T20I match.
#1 Poor finish with the bat in the death overs
India were 144-4 at the end of the 16th over and had two specialist batsmen at the crease in the form of Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer. The duo were very much capable of launching an all-out attack on the opponent bowlers and it was expected that India would score at least 10 runs an over from the last four overs.
But India could not find a way to get going and lost three wickets in the death overs, eventually managing to score only 30 runs off the last 24 deliveries. Rishabh Pant (22-ball 33*) managed to take India to 170 after Shreyas Iyer (11-ball 10), Ravindra Jadeja (11-ball 9) and Washington Sundar (0) failed to fire at the death.
The inability to score big in the death overs even after having an extended batting lineup left India short of a competitive total and the 171-run target was eventually chased down by the visitors.
#2 Lendl Simmons dropped on 6 by Washington Sundar
India had the chance to send West Indian opener Lendl Simmons back to the pavilion in the second delivery of the fifth over. Batting on 6 from 9 balls, Simmons mistimed a knuckleball off Bhuvneshwar Kumar and the ball was in the air for a considerable amount of time.
Washington Sundar did get under the ball and positioned himself for the catch, but in the end failed to cling on as the ball lobbed off the youngster's palms and fell on to the ground, handing Simmons an early reprieve.
The missed chance to remove Simmons proved to be a costly one as he went on an assault from the sixth over and made his way to a match-winning 45-ball 67* that proved to be a major driving force in West Indies' successful run chase.
#3 Indian bowlers fail to stem West Indies' aggression with the bat
After posting a target of 171 for the West Indies, the Indian bowlers needed to step up and find a way to run through the opponent's batting lineup. The task was never going to be easy as the dew factor was certain to come into play and the Indian bowling unit had three spinners in Yuzvendra Chahal, Ravindra Jadeja and Washington Sundar.
Despite a slow start, the Windies openers stitched a 73-run partnership to provide the perfect foundation for the chase. However, the first wicket did not bring about a momentum shift as Hetmyer and Simmons put together a 25-ball 39 run partnership, with the latter particularly Ravindra Jadeja, taking three sixes off the left-arm spinner.
Apart from Washington Sundar (1/26), every Indian bowler proved to be expensive, which saw the game slip out of India's hands. The missed chances - more precisely, the half-chances - too added to the misery of the Indian bowlers.
Despite a decent start, the Indian bowlers' inability to pick up wickets and stem the run flow saw the West Indies batsmen run riot with the bat in hand which ultimately handed the latter a comfortable win in the end.