The West Indies delivered an unexpected blow to India, securing a surprising six-wicket victory in the second ODI of the three-game series. Throughout the series, India has been in experimental mode and although they narrowly survived the opener on Thursday, courtesy to the bowlers, the absence of Virat Kohli and captain Rohit Sharma led to a faltering batting performance drawing criticism from both experts and fans for the seemingly inexplicable experiments.
In the aftermath of Saturday’s defeat, head coach Rahul Dravid shed light on the decision to rest the two senior batters for the second ODI match. He revealed that Rohit and Kohli would have hardly batted in the series opener at the Kensington Oval in Bridgetown had it not been for India’s collapse in the chase of 115 runs. The main motive behind resting the seasoned players was to offer the younger batters valuable game time and help them prepare for the upcoming World Cup.
However, the outcome was not as desired. Even in the second match where Hardik Pandya was appointed as skipper, the young batting lineup failed to capitalize on the opportunity provided. With the exception of Ishan Kishan, who scored his second consecutive fifty, none of the other batters rose to the occasion. As a result, India could only manage a humiliating total of 181, which the West Indies chased down comfortably in 36.4 overs.
Addressing the media after the loss, Dravid clarified that the West Indies series was seen as the final chance to carry out these experiments before heading towards the Asia Cup, followed by the World Cup.
“Honestly, this was our last chance to try some of our players. We have got four of our players who are injured and are in the NCA. With days to go for the Asia Cup and then the World Cup, we are kind of running out of time in a lot of ways. And we are hoping that some of them will be for the Asia Cup and the World Cup but we can’t take those chances. We have to try out other people and give them chances so that in worst case scenario they at least have game time behind them”.