India will look to the heavens when they take to the field today, hoping to avoid the rains that forced officials to abandon the first ODI of the five-match series against the West Indies here at Port-of-Spain, also the venue of the first match. India looked good at 199 for 3 in 39.2 overs, when heavy rains eventually forced abandonment of play. Before that, it was comeback man Ajinkya Rahane who proved his mettle with a gutsy, though somewhat error ridden, half century. Rahane is playing in place of the rested Rohit Sharma, and will be looking to make as much of a mark as he can in the long run up to the 2019 World Cup. Also scoring was the man in form, Shikhar Dhawan, who missed out on what would have been a well deserved century by a mere 13 runs. The West Indies bowlers put in an average show, and did not seem to really trouble the Indian batsmen until the very last overs when both Dhawan and Yuvraj fell in a double whammy, leaving India with two unsettled batsmen in Kohli and Dhoni.
Yuvraj Singh’s form has been in question of late too, and with the match abandoned, India are unlikely to change their playing XI for the second game, meaning Yuvraj would be playing today. However, his recent string of bad scores after the half century against Pakistan in the Champions Trophy group game has been a source of concern. After Rahul Dravid called into question the 35-year old’s future considering the World Cup is only two years away, the team management and the skipper will need to take a long hard look before they decide to continue with Yuvraj.
Also playing today with be off spinner Kuldeep Yadav, who has been brought in place of Ravindra Jadeja. The youngster has been promising in the IPL and India’s practice matches, and the management will be looking to add more depth to their bowling by giving the him some international exposure.
India: Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Umesh Yadav, Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Rishabh Pant
West Indies: Jason Holder (captain), Jonathan Carter, Miguel Joseph, Alzarri Joseph, Jason Mohammed, Kieran Powell, Kesrick Williams, Devendra Bishoo, Roston Chase, Shai Hope, Evin Lewis, Ashley Nurse, Rovman Powell.
Match Starts: 6:30 pm IST.