Team India looks to celebrate Diwali with 7th successive T20I series win

first_imgIndia look to maintain their dominant run against the West Indies when the two sides meet in the second Twenty20 International at the Bharat Ratan Atal Bihari Vajpayee International Cricket Stadium in Lucknow on Tuesday.The Uttar Pradesh government had on Monday rechristened the Ekana International Cricket Stadium as Bharat Ratan Atal Bihari Vajpayee International Cricket Stadium ahead of the first-ever international cricket match in the state capital.If India win on Tuesday night, it will be their seventh successive T20 International series win after the draw against Australia in 2017. Since then, they defeated New Zealand, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Ireland and England in bilateral series besides winning the Nidahas Trophy.A victory over the West Indies in Lucknow will also extend India’s unbeaten streak in T20I series to nine. Before the series win over New Zealand, India had drawn with Australia and defeated Sri Lanka in a one-off T20 International.The misery has seemed never-ending for the Windies and India would look to ensure that the script doesn’t change.India’s four-match T20 losing streak against the West Indies ended on Sunday in Kolkata. And in the penultimate game of what has been a disastrous tour for the visitors, India would be favourites to lock the series in their favour.Read – From golgappa-loving Delhi boy to lean, mean and fit: Harbhajan recalls Kohli’s transitionIndia’s last win against the West Indies before Sunday came way back on March 23, 2014 in the World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.With the win at the Eden Gardens, India managed to better their head-to-head record against the reigning world T20 champions. The two sides have met 9 times with the Windies winning 5 and India 3. One match ended in no result.advertisementThe five-wicket win in Kolkata might have looked a bit laboured for the hosts but the absence of batting talisman Virat Kohli cannot be discounted.It was also the first T20I for which India dropped Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the colossus whose batting form has been on the wane but the cricketing brain and reflexes behind the stumps remain assets for the team.Also Read – Krunal Pandya trolls Hardik after matching brother’s feat on T20I debutOn Sunday, it was a rare failure for captain Rohit Sharma and he would look to make up for that with a big knock on Tuesday.Besides Rohit, opener Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant and Manish Pandey also had a bad day in office in the series-opener.It took a responsible 34-ball 31 not out from Dinesh Karthik and a nine-ball 21-run unbeaten cameo from newcomer Krunal Pandya to steer India home in 17.5 overs.Lucknow, which is hosting its first international match at the newly-built stadium, would be eager to see a more dominant performance from the home team, one that’s befitting the gulf in quality between the two sides.On the bowling front, left-arm chinaman Kuldeep Yadav stole the limelight with brilliant figures of 3/13 from his four overs, while left-arm pacer Khaleel Ahmed (1/16) and Pandya (1/15) were economical.Pace spearhead Bhuvneshwar Kumar is expected to be back after missing the first game due to gastric problem. Umesh Yadav might have to make way for Bhuvneshwar as Jasprit Bumrah and young Khaleel Ahmed look certainties at the moment.West Indies, on the other hand, would be desperate to return home with some positivity at the end of a two-month long series in which they lost both the Test and ODI series.While two-Test series was lost 0-2 in just six days of action, they posed some challenge in the subsequent ODI series before being thrashed 1-3 with a nine-wicket loss in Thiruvananthapuram in the final one-dayer.Read – Fabian Allen blames West Indies’ overt aggression for defeat to India in Kolkata T20IThe return of big names such as Kieran Pollard and Darren Bravo failed to make any significant impact as West Indies produced a below-par batting effort on Sunday.Andre Russell’s injury, which ruled him out of the series, has also dented their chances.Carlos Braithwaite (2/11) was impressive with the ball but the skipper also needs to inspire his team with some significant contributions with the bat.Young pacer Oshane Thomas (2/21), who made his debut in Kolkata, troubled the Indian openers with his pace upfront but he needs support from the likes of Keemo Paul and others.The Squads:India: Rohit Sharma (Capt), Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Dinesh Karthik, Manish Pandey, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, K Khaleel Ahmed, Umesh Yadav, Shahbaz Nadeem.advertisementWest Indies: Carlos Brathwaite (Capt), Darren Bravo, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope Obed McCoy, Keemo Paul, Khary Pierre, Kieron Pollard, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell, Denesh Ramdin, Sherfane Rutherford, Oshane Thomas(With inputs from PTI)last_img

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