After losing the first ODI, Windies staged a dramatic comeback, as they managed to extend their head to head lead and level series honours by thrashing the hosts in the third ODI at MCA stadium in Pune.
With the series poised at 1-1, Both sides will now aim to take lead, when then face each other in the fourth ODI at the Brabourne Stadium in Mumbai on Monday, October 29.
India have hosted Windies in 53 completed bilateral ODI fixtures and have won 25 of those with the Carribean side slightly ahead on 27 wins while the one ended in a tie. In the previous ODI, India elected to field first and reduced visitors to 227/8 before Ashley countered back with 22-ball 40 to take visitors to competitive 283/9 in their quota of 50 overs and despite Kohl's brilliance, they managed cleaned up hosts at 240 to win by 43 runs.
India's old demons once again come into existence in third ODI as the tragedy waiting to happen in the second game has struck them, finally. This was the third instance when Virat Kohl's Century came in a losing run chase.
Skipper Virat Kohli continued his masterclass and seems unstoppable at the moment and is going through a dream run of his life. With three back to back centuries, he is on verge of becoming the first Indian batsman and second overall after Sri Lankan legend Kumar Sangakkara to score four consecutive hundreds. Kohli smashed 140, 157* and 107 in the first three games respectively and once again will pose a major threat to the visitors.
While Rohit Sharma also scored cracked 150+ mark in the opening fixture. He failed to replicate in next ones, he along with Shikhar Dhawan form a lethal combo at the top and are expected to get the team off to flying start. India also poses a strong middle order batsman in Ambati Rayudu, who made his appearance worth in all three games. Despite these India must rope in Ravindra Jadeja or Kedar Jadhav to strengthen their middle order. Both have proved themselves in the past and have the ability to turn the match on their own.
Prior to the match, there were a lot of hones on their front line bowlers; Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah, and were seen as a major boost in this department. Though Bumrah didn't disappoint the fans and claimed an impressive four-for. But Kumar went for plenty and managed a sole wicket of Holder. He will be backed by their skipper to come out with better performance in the next outing and rattle the West Indian top order early on.
While Spin twins (KulCha) Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have troubled the tourists in all three matches to share ten wickets between them and India will expect these two to come to the fore once again.
Expected Playing XI
Virat Kohli (C), Ambati Rayudu, Rishabh Pant, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja or Kedar Jadhav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma.
What was sought to be an uncompetitive series a few weeks ago, has proved be a hard-fought battle between the two. The men from the Carribean proved to be one of the most tuff competitors of white ball cricket visiting India. After their heart winning performances in previous two games, they will come into this fixture with a booster dose of confidence.
Shai Hope and Shimron Hetmyer have been the backbone of Windies batting department and once again it will be up to these two to deliver the goods with the bat. Hope cracked an impressive 95 in third ODI and is on no two spots behind Indian skipper Kolhi (404 Runs) in leading runs chart with 250 runs. While Hetmyer has scores of 106, 94 and 37 in the respective matches.
Except these two the will also bank on the likes of Kieran Powell and Ashley Nurse to score some runs in the middle. Powell is getting good starts, while Nurse quickfire 40 in previous ODI certainly played a major role in Windies victory and proved to be the difference in the end.
For the first time in series, Windies bowlers came into fore and matched batsmen in countering the opposition. Nurse has been their go-to bowler in this series with four wickets and skipper will once again need him to rattle the opposition early on
Marlon Samuels was the pick of the bowlers last time with excellent figures of 3/12 and the off-break bowler will be expected to replicate his all-round skills at Brabourne. While Jason Holder and Obed McCoy both snared two Wickets each and will be expected to get some wickets in the middle.
Expected Playing XI
Jason Holder (C), Ashley Nurse, Kemar Roach, Devendra Bishoo, Obed McCoy, Kieran Powell, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Shai Hope, Marlon Samuels, Shimron Hetmyer and Rovman Powell.Published 28 Oct 2018, 13:45 IST