Ajinkya Rahane © AFP
Ajinkya Rahane © AFP

Port of Spain in Trinidad and Tobago has provided Indian cricket fans some of its most cherished memories. It was Sunil Gavaskar’s exploits against West Indies here that led to Sunil Narine’s father naming his son after the Indian great. However, in recent times, weather here has been unkind to the Indians. Live cricket scorecard: India vs West Indies, 2 ODI

India were denied of an early shot to the No.1 Test spot thanks to the persistent rain at the venue during the fourth Test last year. Ten months on, at the same venue, the first ODI between the sides was abandoned due to the same reason on Friday. Thunderstorms are expected this Sunday afternoon at Port of Spain. Yet again weather gods may have the last laugh. If at all we have a complete game, these are the key clashes we can expect.

Ajinkya Rahane vs Alzarri Joseph: Here was a big opportunity for Rahane, finally getting a chance, filling up for Rohit Sharma. He did all the hard work, stitched 132 for the first wicket with Shikhar Dhawan before being foxed by Alzarri Joseph. Rahane’s knock came to an end at 62.

Joseph, who caught everyone’s eye in the Under-19 World Cup 2016, has climbed up the ranks and proved himself at the highest level. In 2016, at St Lucia, he announced himself against the very opponents in Test cricket.

The 20-year-old is still getting stronger and he can not only clock serious pace but can also be wily with variations. His slower off-cutter to Rahane in the first ODI was a good example. Meanwhile, Rahane will look forward to repay captain Virat Kohli’s trust on him.

Shikhar Dhawan vs law of averages: Dhawan has been in ominous touch since the start of the Champions Trophy. He stroked a fine 87 in the first ODI. At his breezy best, Dhawan seems unconquerable at the moment. His last 7 scores read: 60, 68, 125, 78, 46, 21 and 87.

He will look forward to another merry outing against the fallible West Indies attack. The only demon to be conquered here will be the ‘law of averages’.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar vs Evin Lewis: Less than a year back, Lewis became a household name when he ransacked Stuart Binny at Lauderhill in a T20I. His 49-ball 100 propelled West Indies to 245, a match they won against India by a run.

One bowler he couldn’t conquer that day was Bhuvneshwar, scoring only 9 from his 8 balls, on a day when at an average of over 12 was scored every over.

The Indian pacer has been in some form and eye an upper hand against the explosive local boy.

Cricket vs Weather god: It will be a morning start at the local venue. Meanwhile, more than half the world will be sulking over Monday blues. Kiwis will be dozing at distant east and are hours away from office. More importantly, Indians are spending their late evenings thinking about the looming Monday. Back to Port of Spain, there is rain in the air. Add an understrength home team to that. In a nutshell, we have a perfect recipe for cricket disaster.

For Ravi Shastri to say, “In the end, cricket is the winner,” we need to have a cricket match. At least in order to ‘hope’ and that for a better show from West Indies. Hope for entertainment through exciting cricket. Hope to watch more of the questionable Indian middle-order. So, pray to weather god and let’s ‘hope’ for a match.