India vs West Indies, 2nd T20I Preview: Team India Look to Take Advantage of Virat Kohli’s Form

The India vs West Indies series moves from Hyderabad to Trivandrum as the Greenfield Stadium is set to host the second T20I to be played between the two teams. There were a few outstanding and eyecatching performances in the first T20I between India and West Indies at Hyderabad, but the one which stood out was Virat Kohli’s unbeaten knock to take India home in a 200-plus run chase. The commentators termed this knock as “classical destruction” as Virat Kohli announced his comeback into T20Is.

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Kohli spoke about his return to the T20I side in the pre-match press conference of the India vs West Indies first T20I and the importance to get runs in the build-up to the World T20. His unbeaten 94 which helped India to win the game and take a lead in the series is a prove of the fact that he is playing the way he wants to in the format and the shots he is playing are also calculative and methodical.

Going into the second game in Trivandrum on Sunday, India will be buoyed with Kohli’s return. The way he batted will instill confidence among the rest of the players. KL Rahul scored another fluent half-century and was looking close to his best. It was a rare failure for Rohit Sharma who was dismissed cheaply for 8. Going into the second game, it is around these three batsmen that the innings will more or less revolve around, whether they bat first or second.

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The areas which India need to improve going into the second game is their bowling and fielding. The Indian team apart from the misfields they did on the field dropped a few catches, which cost their bowlers heavily. Deepak Chahar and Washington Sundar gave runs above 10 per over with Bhuvneshwar Kumar who was making a comeback into the team gave away 9 runs per over.

West Indies were very good with the bat with their skipper Kieron Pollard firing on all cylinders. Evin Lewis and Shimron Hetmyer approached the game with an attacking mindset which helped their team post a winning total. However, it was a Kohli masterclass that blew the West Indies away in the game.

Their bowlers bowled at a better line and length as per the commentators and every batsman barring Kohli found difficulty in playing them. While they will need to rework on their gameplan on every Indian player ahead of Sunday’s clash, the Windies would be more focused on getting Kohli out cheaply. Kohli’s knock meant that the Indian batting line-up was hardly tested with Rahul also scoring a defiant half-century.

It is difficult to pinpoint mistakes in the Windies performance in the first game. They were better than India on the field and their bowlers were also better than their Indian counterparts.

Going into the second game thus, Virat Kohli would be the only topic that the Windies management would have to discuss heavily and getting him out cheaply is the only way in which they can win the game.

The Greenfield International Stadium has hosted only one T20I international game between India and New Zealand in 2017. Though that game was a low-scoring one, the newly laid pitch at the stadium is expected to be a batting-friendly one.

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With good batters in both teams, this is expected to be a high-scoring game between 160 to 170 if not a run-fest. It will be interesting to see the adjustments the bowlers from both teams make on this wicket.

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