West Indies will look to avenge their two successive defeats against Zimbabwe when the two sides meet in the second ODI at Providence in Guyana. >
The Zimbabweans may not be as strong as their West Indian counterparts, but they have given a good account of themselves in both the games that have been played so far, the first T20I and the ODI. In both the games the West Indian batsmen were put to the sword by the Zimbabwean spin bowlers and that is the reason why they were not able to chase moderate totals.>
The captain Chris Gayle has already sounded out against the batting of their three middle order batsmen, Pollard, Ramdin and Dwayne Smith, and this will mean that the trio would need to pull up their socks. Of course, Gayle was exaggerating when he said that the side could beat West Indies 5-0 if they continued playing in the same manner, but the point he made was perfect – West Indies needed to improve their overall cricket by a country mile.
Zimbabwe were doing all their basics right. Their opener in Vusi Sibanda scored a 95 that came off 140 odd deliveries, which was something totally unheard of in recent times of the boom-boom cricket. Yet, it did its job and won him the man of the match. With the ground expected to play in a similar manner, it could very well be Sibanda, Taibu or Masakadza to bat through the entire length of the innings as well.
To me, it would be interesting to see whether the West Indian side can overcome the spin web that had entangled the top order in the Powerplay. If they are able to do that, half their problems could just be solved.
West Indies (2/7 at 888Sport to come back into the series) will go into the game as favourites, but after the two wins, Zimbabwe (11/4 at Paddy Power to make it 2-0) will be reasonably strong contenders – take them lightly at your own peril!