Nicholas Pooran in action for West Indies in the T20I series against India© AFP
Nicholas Pooran looked in top form as he slammed 41 off just 34 deliveries in the first T20I encounter between India and West Indies in Tarouba. He came into the match on the back of a successful Major Cricket League (MLC) campaign and he looked quite comfortable against the Indian bowling attack. The action now shifts to Providence Stadium in Guyana – a ground where Pooran has been quite successful in the past couple of games. In the last ODI he played at this venue, Pooran scored 73 against Bangladesh in 2022. During the same tour, West Indies face Bangladesh in a T20I match in Guyana and Pooran was once again the star as he scored 74 off 39 balls with five four and five sixes. India trail 0-1 in the five-match series and if the trend continues, Pooran can prove to be a major problem for the visitors.
India’s most sought-after IPL stars will have a reputation to defend and parity to restore when they take on a quality West Indies side in the second T20 International of the five-match series on Sunday.
A boundary was the difference between the two teams in the opening game in Tarouba where West Indies prevailed on a slow batting track with an impressive bowling effort at the back-end.
The T20I series is of little consequence in an ODI World Cup year but skipper Hardik Pandya along with his deputy Suryakumar Yadav would expect to put a far improved batting show — both individually as well as collectively.
Save debutant Tilak Varma, who looked ready for international cricket during his knock of 39, the Indian batting with IPL prima donnas earning fat pay cheques, flattered to deceive.
However, with five T20s being played in a period of nine days, involving three countries (Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana and United States), it is also imperative that the likes of skipper Hardik, openers Gill and Kishan, spinner Kuldeep Yadav get adequate rest keeping the big picture in mind.
(With PTI inputs)
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