Updated: October 28, 2018 4:47:43 pm
India were favourites to win the one-day international series against West Indies but were given a reality check in Pune when the visitors put up a gritty performance in the third ODI to level the series at 1-1. With a series that could go either way, India and West Indies head to the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai for the all-important fourth ODI on Monday. West Indies will be more confident among the two teams after upping the ante in Vizag and Pune. On the other hand, Virat Kohli– led India have a lot of ponder about especially on the balance of the middle order. In the post-match presentation after the second ODI, Kohli had pointed out towards the need of stability and said, “Look when Hardik and Kedar both play, we get the extra option. When someone like Hardik is not playing, who gives you both bowling and batting option, it is difficult to get the balance. Kedar comes into the side in the next game, that’ll give us the balance and depth in the batting. We have to think about the perfect balance we need.”
As far as the rest of the batting is concerned, among the top three Shikhar Dhawan is due for a big score. Dhoni’s patchy form further complicates matters in an unstable middle-order. A significant contribution from Ambati Rayudu is also due. Kohli, however, remains the biggest positive for team India. With three centuries in as many matches, the Indian captain is in surreal form. The bowlers put up a much-improved show in Pune but a five-bowler combination seems unlikely and Khaleel Ahmed may be benched.
For the visitors, the form of Shimron Hetmyer and Shai Hope continues to bode well. But others like Rovman Powell, Kieron Powell and Chanderpaul Hemraj are yet to score big. But it is the bowling department which has cost the Windies most as Kemar Roach and the young seamers (Obed McCoy and Oshane Thomas) have been milked for runs. The ineffectiveness of Devendra Bishoo will force Holder to continue with Ashley Nurse and Fabian Allen and Marlon Samuels as the sixth bowling option.
The pitch at Brabourne Stadium is expected to be a batsman’s paradise and a run feast is on the cards. Spinners might play a part but only during the daytime as dew settles in post-sunset.
India – Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Rishabh Pant, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Khaleel Ahmed, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul and Kedar Jadhav.
West Indies – Jason Holder (Captain), Fabian Allen Sunil Ambris, Devendra Bishoo, Chanderpaul Hemraj, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Obed McCoy, Ashley Nurse, Keemo Paul, Kieran Powell, Rovman Powell, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels and Oshane Thomas.
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