Virat Kohli's Indian team will be aiming to extend their series advantage to 2-0 in the Pune ODI. (Image credit: Twitter)
The Vizag ODI will be remembered for Virat Kohli’s historic record of becoming the quickest to 10,000 runs. With the Indian skipper breaking records for fun, the final result would have left Kohli slightly shocked. 622 runs were scored in the ODI and yet there was no winner.
The tie in Vizag was West Indies’10th and India’s ninth in this format. Heading into the Pune ODI, the Caribbean side have plenty of momentum while India will be aiming to tie the loose ends up.
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India’s bowling gets boost
In the first two ODIs, the Indian bowlers sorely missed the accuracy and the yorker-nailing abilities of Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. In Vizag, it was the dew that rendered the likes of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal slightly ineffective. However, the return of Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar back into the side will be a welcome relief for India’s bowlers as they aim to prevent a hat-trick of 300+ scores on a traditionally placid wicket in Pune.
The batting has fewer issues to worry about. Virat Kohli is the one-man demolition show but Ambati Rayudu showed his mettle at No.4. Rayudu’s performance will go a long way in stabilising the middle order, which has been slightly underwhelming since 2017. However, lot of eyes will be on MS Dhoni. India’s former skipper is struggling for runs and not able to finish the innings like he used to. With his axing for the T20Is against West Indies and Australia, it will be interesting to see what Captain Cool’s frame of mind is.
West Indies ride high
If there have been any positives for West Indies following their disastrous Test performances, it has been Shimron Hetmyer and Shai Hope. Hetmyer, in particular, has dazzled the world with his flamboyant batting and aggression. At the other end, Hope has been a major stabilising factor in the West Indies middle order and it was his century that ensured the Windies would not go 0-2 down.
Heading into the Pune ODI, skipper Jason Holder stressed on the importance of fielding and pointed out that this was the key factor West Indies had to improve. The bowling will be determined to stop the Indian juggernaut after conceding over 320 in both Guwahati and Vizag.
A win for Kohli’s side will give them momentum for the Australia tour but a loss could pose more questions.