West Indies finally registered a win against India in T20I, their first since December 2019. This was also their first win against India on home soil since July 2017. The star of the match was Obed McCoy – another left-arm pacer who troubled the Indian batters. His 6/17 are the best bowling figures in T20I for West Indies. India tried hard to defend a low score, but the target of 139 just wasn’t enough. The series is now level at 1-1, and the two teams will meet in less than 24 hours to take the lead. We look back at some of the hot talking points from the 2nd T20I.

2nd T20I - Key Performers cricket stats T20I India West Indies
2nd T20I – Key Performers

WI pulling the length back

India got off to a rapid start in the first T20I. It was a result of the West Indies bowlers bowling a bit too full in search of some movement. Since the pitch was on the slower side, bowling short-pitched balls would have set up nicely for batters, which it did, when WI did bowl short. In this match, the pitch was slightly two-paced, and the hosts were quick to realise that.

Obed McCoy bowled the first ball of the match a short one angling across Rohit Sharma to get a leading edge. The average Powerplay length of West Indies’ pacers in the 1st T20I was around the 6.9m mark. In the 2nd match, it was slightly shorter – around the 7.5m mark. Although the hosts conceded more runs in the Powerplay compared to the first match, they picked up one more wicket in this match.

Rohit Sharma - Not too comfortable against left-arm pacers cricket stats T20I India West Indies
Rohit Sharma – Not too comfortable against left-arm pacers

India hit five Sixes inside the Powerplay, which resulted in more than half of the total runs, but they had more false shots. It was a result of the two-paced nature of the pitch.

Death overs choice

West Indies needed 27 runs from the last three overs. Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Arshdeep Singh, both excellent death-overs bowlers, had an over each remaining. So, when Hardik Pandya bowled the 18th over, it was safe to assume that Bhuvi and Arshdeep will bowl the last two.

Arshdeep bowled an excellent 19th over, conceding just six runs. It was all on Bhuvi to defend 10 runs from the last over, but Rohit Sharma had other plans. He brought in Avesh Khan to bowl the 20th over, and the hosts needed just two legal deliveries to finish the chase.

Avesh Khan - Hasn't been at his best for India in death overs cricket stats T20I West Indies
Avesh Khan – Hasn’t been at his best for India in death overs

There will be an argument about whether Sharma made a captaincy blunder by not bowling Bhuvi in the last over, but as he rightly mentioned in the post-match interview, these bilateral games offer a great opportunity to test new players under difficult conditions. This match was a perfect platform to do just that.

India’s approach

India were bowled out without even batting 20 overs. Sharma has consistently maintained that India will follow an approach that they have been aiming for a while, and they do not mind a few hiccups along the way.

While there have been decisions related to team formation, batting order and personnel choices that might not make sense to outsiders, the Indian team management seems to have a plan ahead for the Asia Cup and the T20 World Cup.

Obed McCoy registered best T20I figures for West Indies cricket stats T20I India
Obed McCoy registered the best T20I figures for West Indies

Will there be more left-field choices in the 3rd T20I from India? Should the team focus on winning international series before experimenting? Is experimenting against the conventional norms and cricketing sense worth exploring? These are questions that will always divide public opinion. Hopefully, we might get more answers in the near future.