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2nd ODI: India juggle with options in bid to seal series against West Indies | Cricket News – Times of India


KL Rahul back, Dhawan and Shreyas cleared to train after negative tests
One of the things Rahul Dravid did during his stints as India ‘A’ coach, under-19 coach, or in his position as head of the coaching staff of the Rajasthan and Delhi IPL franchises, was tinkering with the teams and batting order. He always looked to put players in new situations and take them out of their comfort zones. Sometimes, the results hurt the team’s cause and affected their progress in the tournament. But it helped him unearth talent and see if players were up for the fight.
Players like Sanju Samson, Rishabh Pant, Ishan Kishan, Karun Nair, Hardik Pandya, Shubman Gill, Deepak Chahar, Mohammed Siraj, Shreyas Iyer are just a few names that come to mind who have been under Dravid’s wings at some point.
“I tell them upfront, if you come on an ‘A’ tour with me, you will not leave here without playing a game. I’ve had that personal experience myself as a kid: going on an ‘A’ tour and not getting an opportunity is terrible,” Dravid had said.

As coach of India so far though, he has been loath to rock the boat, especially in the longer format, and that perhaps explains the never-ending rope offered to struggling batsmen Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara and persisting with them in South Africa.
But with two global white-ball tournaments staring India in the face, albeit in different formats, a host of talented players crying out for opportunities and a relatively unsettled and unprepared opposition, especially in 50-over cricket, India should experiment in the second ODI of the three-match series against West Indies on Wednesday.
But will the hosts, after having surprisingly lost both the Test and ODI series to South Africa recently, risk not obeying the fans’ mandate of winning every game they play?

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The returning KL Rahul will most likely merit an inclusion in the playing XI. News from Ahmedabad also suggests that both Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer have tested negative for Covid-19 and have been allowed to train with the squad. It means more options for the team management.
It would also suggest someone from the playing XI in the first ODI needing to make way. If Dhawan gets in, he will open with Rohit and Rahul may drop down the order. In that case, both Ishan Kishan and Deepak Hooda will go out.
It’s worth keeping in mind that players like leg-spinner Ravi Bishnoi and pacer Avesh Khan also need to be groomed and given opportunities. And what about Deepak Chahar? After his scintillating late-order solo that almost won India the third ODI in Cape Town, he would have thought he will feature in a full series in Ahmedabad. But the team management placed their trust in the profligate Shardul Thakur, who was disappointing again on Sunday.

West Indies will be tempted to make changes of their own. After the loss to Ireland, they are on the lookout for qualification points for the World Cup. They have missed out on automatic qualification in the T20 World Cup and another setback in the 50-over format won’t be looked at kindly.
The experienced and once-fast Kemar Roach looked barely military-medium on Sunday. Perhaps Guyana’s Romario Shepherd could be given a go. He can bowl fast and can also tonk sixes and can be a good foil for the penetrative Alzarri Joseph with the new ball. Jason Holder and skipper Kieron Pollard had both stressed on the need for batters to take the game deep. But West Indies’ batting, of late, has been on the ventilator in ODIs.





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