PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad, CMC – Rain could once again play a decisive role in the second One-Day International of the five-match series between West Indies and India set to bowl off here Sunday.
The forecast has predicted overnight showers along with heavy rain and possible thundershowers on
Sunday, putting in doubt the prospect of a full 50-overs aside contest at Queen’s Park Oval.
Friday’s opener at the venue was cut short after just over 39 overs of the first innings, as heavy rain wrecked the game and forced a no-result.
Both players and officials will therefore be keeping an eye on the weather as they look to kickstart a series which holds huge value for West Indies especially.
The hosts are chasing valuable ratings points to enhance their position in the ICC One-Day International rankings, in order to qualify automatically for the ICC Cricket World Cup in 2019.
West Indies are currently ranked ninth on 77 points and need to be in the top eight by the cut off date of September 30.
Failing that, the two-time former World champions will enter a 10-team playoff next year with the likes Zimbabwe, Ireland and Afghanistan, in order to secure one of the two remaining World Cup berths.
In India, they face opponents ranked third in the world and who were good enough to reach the final of the ICC Champions Trophy in England before losing to Pakistan last Sunday.
The Caribbean side entered the series as huge underdogs and against the backdrop of a disappointing 1-1 draw in a three-match series against Afghanistan earlier this month but leg-spinner Devendra Bishoo believes the team can still spring a surprise.
“They are a good experienced team, yes we know,” The Guyanese said.
“We just have to put our best cricket forward. The team know and I know that if we play our best cricket, that we can do very well in this tournament and we’re looking forward to it.”
West Indies have endured abysmal ODI form in over the last year with just three wins in 16 outings – including 3-0 whitewashes away to Pakistan and at home in the Caribbean to England.
Further, West Indies have not beaten India in a bilateral series in 11 years, losing 16 of their lat 26 matches.
But Bishoo said the Windies were motivated by a desire to do well, especially with the young players looking to make their mark internationally.
“One of the most important things about our team is that everybody is very hungry … and they want to do well in international cricket,” he pointed out.
“Going forward, the [hunger] is there so we just have to stay focussed, stay as a team, stay as one unit, keep enjoying our cricket … and try to do well in this tournament.”
Play on Sunday is scheduled to bowl off at 9 am.
WEST INDIES – Jason Holder (captain), Devendra Bishoo, Jonathan Carter, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Ashley Nurse, Kieran Powell, Rovman Powell, Kesrick Williams.
INDIA – Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Umesh Yadav.