India Vs West Indies Second ODI: One natural change for Team India
India have named an unchanged 12 man squad for the second ODI against the West Indies at Visakhapatnam. The two reserve batsmen K.L. Rahul and Manish Pandey have been left out. Hence the indications are for a solitary change in the playing XI with the likely inclusion of Kuldeep Yadav.
The Visakhapatnam wicket traditionally favors spinners. Hence, there is every possibility of India going in with 3 spinners and 2 fast bowlers. When India played their last match at this venue against Sri Lanka, Kuldeep Yadav was the man of the match for his three wickets. The other spinner Yuzvendra Chahal also took three wickets in that match against Sri Lanka.
In the match against New Zealand in 2016, Amit Mishra took 5 for 8 and Axar Patel took 2 for 9. In the match against the West Indies in 2013, Ashwin took 2 for 37 and Jadeja 1 for 44. The Windies should take heart from the fact that they were the only visiting team to beat India in Visakhapatnam when they beat India by 2 wickets in 2013. For M.S. Dhoni, it was in Visakhapatnam where his career took off as a batsman when he scored 148 runs against Pakistan in 2005.
All the three fast bowlers of India were unspectacular against the West Indies in Guwahati. But it is the inexperienced Khaleel Ahmed who should make way for Kuldeep Yadav. Both Mohammad Shami and Umesh Yadav should retain their place in the team. They are like-for-like bowlers who are expected to get a long run before one loses the race.
To rotate the spells of the 3 spinners more comfortably, India should introduce Chahal much early into the attack- right in the first powerplay. But what India would be really missing is a good off-spinner like Ashwin to bowl to the 5 left-handers in the West Indies batting line-up. The spells of the two fast bowlers should be split into three to be used at different stages of the innings.
It would be hard on Khaleel Ahmed but he would be better off bowling in Australia and New Zealand rather than on the flat pitches in India. The way things are moving both Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah would be rested for the remainder of the series. Every indication is that Khaleel Ahmed will get his chance later in the West Indies one-day series.
The inclusion of Kuldeep Yadav might cause a headache for the man who scored a fabulous century for the West Indies in the first one-day. Shimron Hetmyer got out to Kuldeep Yadav thrice in the Test series. But with the kind of form that Hetmyer showed in Guwahati, he might overwhelm Kuldeep in Visakhapatnam.
Kuldeep Yadav is a very good wicket-taking option for India in the middle-overs, more so when the wicket aids spin. Kuldeep Yadav for Khaleel Ahmed is the only change one can expect from Team India for the second ODI against the West Indies in Visakhapatnam.