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With India dominating every session of the tour so far, West Indies looked like they finally arrived during their run chase in the second ODI in Visakhapatnam on Wednesday (October 23). After Virat Kohli obliterated records in the first innings, West Indies were chasing a mammoth total of 321.
The Caribbean batsman brought their game as they started off on the front foot. With Shimron Hetmyer and Shai Hope stitching a brilliant partnership, India suddenly found themselves on the backfoot. But the Indian bowlers led by Kuldeep Yadav fought valiantly as the match ended in a thrilling tie.
Now with India still one up in the series, West Indies will really look to switch gears when the two teams meet at the MCA stadium in Pune on Saturday.
Best economical pick: Ambati Rayadu, India's prospective No. 4 batsman ahead of the 2019 World Cup, is having a great series. Rohit and Kohli's centuries in the first ODI meant Rayadu didn't get much time in the middle. He made the most of it as he scored 22* in a chase that was mastered by Rohit and Kohli. Although Kohli was a significant part of the rebuilding phase in the second ODI, Rayadu had substantial contributions as he scored 73 off 80 balls.
Top captains & vice captains: Captain Virat Kohli seems to be on a different planet altogether. Unquestionably the best at the moment, Kohli started the series on a usual note as he once again, along with Rohit, hurried India to yet another successful chase in ODIs. The Indian skipper carried the same form to the second ODI as he struck yet another century.
Thus, Kohli will look to run on the same lines in the third ODI as well. If there is one player who has been a bright spot for the Caribbean team, it has been Hetmyer. After scoring a century in the first ODI, Hetmyer built a wonderful partnership with Hope in the second Innings. His dismissal was perhaps the crucial turning point of the match which shows how much of an impact he has on the side.
Smart pick: While other West Indies batsmen buckled under pressure, Shai Hope was the sole stable figure on the other end. Hope eventually got a century and also scored a boundary on the last ball of the match to tie the game.
Cautious Pick: MS Dhoni has had a mediocre 2018 as he has failed to contribute quantitatively for India in the batting department. Nonetheless, his qualitative contributions to the team are something that can't be cordoned-off while looking at his form with the bat.
My XI: Virat Kohli (Captain), Shimron Hetmyer (Vice-Captain), Ambati Rayudu, Kuldeep Yadav, Jason Holder, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ashley Nurse, Shai Hope, Rishabh Pant, Obed McCoy, Chandrapaul Hemraj.