Port of Spain, Aug 11 India have won the toss and opted to bat first in the second ODI against the West Indies here on Sunday.
With India playing the same team that took the field in the washed out first ODI in Guyana on Thursday, skipper Virat Kohli at the toss backed Rishabh Pant to play at number four followed by Shreyas Iyer at five.
“I think the spinners will come into play in the second half of the day. The nature of the pitch makes us bat first. When the series is compressed, you want to be focussed even more. We want to execute our skills in the middle. It doesn’t matter for us whether it is a two-match series or a three-match series.
“We are unchanged. We are backing Rishabh to bat at four and Shreyas Iyer will bat at five. Four and five are more like floating batting positions for us, according to the situation of the game anyone can bat anywhere. For me, the top 3 and probably 6 and 7 are specialist batting positions than 4 and 5. I think it has become a topic of debate for a long time. In ODIs and T20s, 4 and 5 are your flexible guys,” Kohli said.
The West Indies captain Jason Holder said at the toss that the hosts have brought in pacer Oshane Thomas in place of spinner Fabian Allen who has to sit out due to illness.
“There might be a bit of moisture on this pitch, so hopefully we will get early wickets. We have to execute our skills on each and every day. We have one forced change in our team. Fabian Allen is unfit, Oshane Thomas comes in his place,” said Holder.
Sunday’s match also marks veteran Windies opener Chris Gayle’s 300th ODI appearance.
“It is a big match for Chris Gayle, I would like to congratulate Gayle for an outstanding career. We want to win this game for him,” said Holder.
West Indies: Chris Gayle, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope (wicketkeeper), Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran, Roston Chase, Jason Holder (captain), Carlos Brathwaite, Kemar Roach, Sheldon Cottrell, Oshane Thomas
India: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (captain), Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Shreyas Iyer, Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Khaleel Ahmed, Kuldeep Yadav