IND vs WI, 2nd ODI Preview: Spotlight on K.L. Rahul

As Rahul is back in the scheme of things, it remains to be seen if he replaces Ishan as the opener or prefers to bat in the middle order on a slower track.

KL Rahul

India's KL Rahul on the field during the South Africa series.   -  Reuters

K.L. Rahul is available for selection in the second ODI against the West Indies at the Narendra Modi Stadium here on Wednesday.

India had to opt for Ishan Kishan as the opening partner of captain Rohit Sharma in the first game. The youngster had a decent outing with a knock of 28.

As Rahul is back in the scheme of things, it remains to be seen if he replaces Ishan as the opener or prefers to bat in the middle order on a slower track.

The axe might fall on Ishan if Rahul opens, whereas debutant Deepak Hooda, who guided the team home with an unbeaten 26 in the first game, might have to sit out if Rahul chooses to bat in the middle-order.

Addressing the media on the eve of the match, India’s middle-order batter Suryakumar Yadav, too, kept the guessing game going, claiming: “This is not my department.”

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While Rahul’s batting position remains a tricky decision, the team will expect Virat Kohli to be among runs. With a packed international calendar ahead, Kohli’s form will be crucial. The former captain fell for just eight runs in the first ODI, and it will be a challenge for him to chase his 71st ton.

Wary of the slow track, Suryakumar admitted that the team’s target will be to keep the momentum going and ensure that everyone plays their roles. In the first game, Rohit led from the front with his gritty knock of 60.

India is unlikely to make changes in the bowling department. The Caribbeans struggled against the spin of Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar.

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West Indies’ biggest worry is to survive 50 overs. Ahead of the series opener, captain Kieron Pollard had asked his team-mates to show steel and hang in there for long, but against India’s spin attack, none of the batters - except for Jason Holder and Fabien Allen - could step up.

The team has powerful batters such as Nicholas Pooran and Darren Bravo.

The onus will be on Holder to anchor the bowling department with his experience. Even though Alzarri Joseph grabbed two important wickets of Rohit and Kohli in the opener, he was not quite economical.

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