2nd T20I: Rohit Sharma and Co eye series win in Lucknow!

Nov 06, 2018, 09:12 IST | Santosh Suri

India eye T20I series victory against WI as UP city set to host first international match in 24 years

2nd T20I: Rohit Sharma and Co eye series win in Lucknow!
India players celebrate the wicket of Shai Hope during the first T20I against West Indies at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata on Sunday. Pic/AFP

The Indian top-order had failed to fire against the spirited West Indies pace bowling in the first T20I match in Kolkata on Sunday night. The raw pace of Oshane Thomas and skipper Carlos Brathwaite tested even a batsman of the calibre of Rohit Sharma. With Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant also unable to get going, India were lucky to scrape though as West Indies had managed a paltry total.

Maiden match at Ekana
Though the pitch at the Ekana Stadium, which is hosting its first international fixture today, is unlikely to be as bouncy as the Eden wicket on Sunday night, the West Indies would be eager to get their act together in the second T20I and go into the decider at Chennai on an even keel. The West Indies have only shown glimpses of fighting qualities on the tour. They have not been able to siege crucial moments and allowed India to get away. That's because when their batting has come good, the bowling has been a letdown and when bowling has done well, the batsmen have flopped.

Much is expected from the West Indies in the shortest format as they are the World T20 champions. But in the absence of Chris Gayle and Andre Russell, their team lack the firepower. However, with some young, dashing batsmen in their ranks and bowlers showing promise, they will be hoping to take the series to the decider.

For India's point of view, the next two games are important, not only for young players like Pant, Khaleel Ahmed and Krunal Pandya, but also for seniors like Dhawan and Rahul. Dhawan somehow has not been able to convert good starts into substantial innings. He desperately needs to get a big one as he will be required to be in top gear on the upcoming tour of Australia.

The focus of attention undoubtedly will be chinaman bowler from Kanpur, Kuldeep Yadav, who will be playing his first international match in Uttar Pradesh. He has often flummoxed the West Indies batsmen on this tour and the home crowd would love to see him come good again.

Fans hopeful of run feast
After a low-scoring game at Eden, the Lucknow fans will be hoping for a run feast as international cricket returns to the city after 24 years, and see India clinch the three-match series here rather than wait till the final game. Both teams preferred to rest in their hotels after reaching the city yesterday afternoon.

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