India vs West Indies: All eyes on Yuvraj Singh as India hope for rain-free 2nd ODI

After first ODI being washed out due to bad weather conditions, Virat Kohli's men will be hoping for a complete game in the second match against West Indies.
Yuvraj Singh during practice session - India TV Source: GETTY IMAGES
India TV Sports Desk New Delhi 24 Jun 2017, 02:47 PM IST

In the second ODI between India and West Indies, all eyes will be on Team India's old warhorse Yuvraj Singh who will be eager to set his record straight against the hosts in Port of Spain. The dashing southpaw who had a good run in 2017 with the bat will once again try to shoulder the responsibility of the Indian middle order along with his old time partner MS Dhoni.  The weather is once again likely to play an important role in the second game of the five-match series. The rain had played spoilsport in the first ODI between the two teams which got abandoned after 39.2 overs with India reaching 199 for 3. 

Shikhar Dhawan's 87 and comeback-man Ajinkya Rahane's 62 were the highlights of the Indian innings. 

While the weather is not under their control, what will keep Virat Kohli a touch worried is Yuvraj's form which doesn't exactly inspire the confidence of the highest order. 

After a half-century against Pakistan in the Champions Trophy opener, Yuvraj's sequence of scores has been 7 (vs Sri Lanka), 23 not out (vs South Africa), 22 (vs Pakistan in CT final) and 4 (1st ODI vs WI). 

There is no debate on the class and experience of Yuvraj but at 35-plus, he surely is a shadow of his old self. 

His fielding has gone from bad to worse and skipper Kohli has not felt the need to summon him to bowl his left-arm spinners. 

Former India captain and current India U-19 coach Rahul Dravid had recently said that team management should have a clear cut policy whether they want Yuvraj going into the 2019 World Cup. 

With just two years left and around 45-50 ODIs to be played, Kohli will have to take a call in the next few months about Yuvraj figuring in his scheme of things. 

An explosive left-hander like Rishabh Pant, the most exciting batting prospect among the Gen-Next is waiting in the wings, eagerly for his chance. The veteran can't take his place for granted in the side. 

Not to forget an injured Manish Pandey waiting to get fit and prove his mettle in the 50-over format. 

With the first match being a wash-out, India are unlikely to change their playing XI for the second ODI, which will be played at the same venue. 

For Rahane, the half-century will be a confidence booster, knowing fully well that he will have to vacate the top spot once Rohit Sharma is back during the next limited overs assignment. 

It was not the smoothest of innings by any standards but if one assesses the track which was slightly on the slower side, Rahane did well to add 132 with Dhawan, who has been in blazing form. 

Come to think of it, even Dhawan's second coming has been largely due to KL Rahul's shoulder surgery and he has made full use of the opportunity since the start of the Champions Trophy. 

After emerging as the top-scorer in England winning the 'Golden Bat', Dhawan has carried his form into the Caribbean islands, which augurs well both for him and his team. 

India also need a full match, which will help the team management test left-arm Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav's abilities as a shorter format bowler. 

Kuldeep was handed a debut during the first match in place of Ravindra Jadeja, who didn't have a great Champions Trophy with the ball. 

Jadeja still remains the country's premier left-arm spinner but the West Indies series is an ideal platform to test youngsters. 

Squads: 

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.

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