With less than one year to go before the 2020 ICC T20 Cricket World Cup opens in Australia, West Indies are looking nothing like the team that battled to the 2016 title. After dropping all three matches of a home series against India in August, the Windies traveled to India, only to lose the opener of a three-match set by six wickets on Friday. The visitors try to pull even on Sunday, but they will need a stronger outing from their bowling corps to do it.
According to CricInfo, however, West Indies’ T20 slump — with nine losses in their last 10 and only 12 wins against 26 losses since that 2016 triumph — “feels less alarming than it looks” because the team is rarely capable of fielding all of its top players at once. This is due to the commitments of many players to the various, lucrative T20 franchise cricket tournaments around the world.
West Indies bowlers gifted the India batsmen 11 extra balls, thanks to a series of wides and no-balls in dewy conditions in Hyderabad on Friday. That erratic outing helped the Men in Blue complete a run-chase of 208 with an over and three deliveries to spare, despite the fact that the total was India’s steepest T20 chase in the team’s history, according to CricInfo.
The loss was the seventh straight to India for West Indies, according to The Times of India.
India Captain Virat Kohli almost single-handedly won the game for the hosts, with a T20 career-best 94 not out, off 60 balls, and including six boundaries and six maximums.
Watch a preview of the second India vs. West Indies T20 match in the video below, courtesy of CricBuzz.
India come into the match as heavy betting favorites, at odds of 1.30, according to the Online Cricket Betting site. That means a wager of $100 pays back $130. West Indies, on the other hand, have been slapped with the underdog label at 3.60 odds.
Legbreak spinner Yuzvendra Chahal returned to the T20 side with a performance that may have sealed the win for India in Hyderabad, dismissing both Shimron Hetmyer and Windies Captain Kieron Pollard in the 18th over, as the visitors threatened to put up what may have been an insurmountable total. As it turned out, the score of 207 was the second-highest ever posted against India at home in the shortest format of international cricket.
Kesrick Williams, on the other hand, had the dubious distinction of posting the worst figures ever by a West Indies T20 bowler, allowing 60 runs in just 3 overs and four balls while failing to take a single wicket. That gave Williams a dismal economy rate of 16.36 — numbers that will obviously need to be tightened up if the Windies are to have a shot at taking a rare victory on Indian soil Sunday.
The match is scheduled to get underway at Sunday 7 p.m. India Standard Time — that’s 8:30 a.m. EST in the United States — at Greenfield International Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala, India.