India v West Indies
Friday 18 February, 13:30
TV: live on Sky Sports
India have a 1-0 lead. Game one was a repeat of the ODI series with their bowlers proving to be too clever. India didn't impress with the bat, either, but they didn't have to chasing 158.
After a fast start from Rohit Sharma they made heavy weather of the target. At 114 for four in the 15th they found themselves under a bit of pressure. Venkatesh Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav finished the job.
Virat Kohli got a start but they failed to go on - again. When does his position get called into question?
Possible XI: Rohit, Ishan, Kohli, Pant, Yadav, Venkatesh, Harshal, Deepak, B Kumar, Bishnoi, Chahal
Tourists get it wrong
West Indies are trying to be too smart for their own good. The decision to bat Akeal Hosein at No 6 ahead of Kieron Pollard, one of the best finishers in the world, was ridiculous.
Akeal didn't even hit. His strike rate of 83 was a waste of 12 balls. It would have been much better to face those to get set and then launch a late assault. As it was Windies finished with a whimper.
Picking Roston Chase also seems pointless. Get Pollard or Rovman Powell in at No 4 and the likes of Odean Smith, Romario Shepherd, Fabian Allen and Hosein can be used for a late charge if required. That will allow a spot for Hayden Walsh, the spinner, Jason Holder or Dominic Drakes.
Probable XI: Mayers, King, Pooran, Powell, Pollard, Smith, Shepherd, Allen, Walsh, Cottrell.
Before game one at Eden Gardens there was a 55% toss bias for the chaser and an average first-innings score of 170. That combined with a total of just 156 for Windies and India's extraordinary record batting second meant the game was up.
India have now won 15 of their last 16 chases. So if they do have to bat first again, West Indies are going to be much more aggressive. Whether they can do that against spin and with a repeat of their line-up in game one is unlikely. Bet the runs market here.
Windies must chase
There is a trade chance in this game. But it is obviously toss dependant. All bets are off if India chase. They're only on again if Windies can post the par score, then we might be looking to play on the hosts.
If Windies chase their bowling group has consistently shown on tour that they have something about them. So there is plenty of room in their price at 3.7011/4.
Finding a bet for top West Indies bat is about trying to work out which lower-order hitter they promote. It probably won't be Akeal. So a case can be made for Smith, Allen and Shepherd at 10s, 17s and 40/1 respectively.
The win rate bet is Pollard at 15/2. And it's a shame that we should have to worry about him moving down the order.
For India, Ishan Kishan remains at 4/1 despite the likelihood he will open again. That's chunky for an opener of his ability and Sportsbook clearly have a view on him. Rohit Sharma is 5/2 favourite and looked in great touch. Bet the Sportsbook markets here.
IPL auction special on Cricket...Only Bettor