After an unexpected defeat in the third ODI, India roared back to inflict a massive 224-run defeat on the Windies at Brabourne to take an unsurpassable 2-1 lead in the series. Now, the Caribbean team will be hoping to share series honours, when they take on the hosts in the fifth ODI at the Greenfield International Stadium in Thiruvananthapuram on Thursday, November 1.
India have hosted Windies in 54 completed bilateral ODI fixtures and have won 26 of those with the Carribean side slightly ahead on 27 wins while the one ended in a tie. In fourth ODI, electing to bat first, Riding on the twin centuries of Rohit Sharma and Ambati Rayudu, the Men in Blue propelled to a mammoth 377/5.
The Windies, in reply, got off to a terrible start and were eventually bowled out for 153 in the 37th over to earn their second highest defeat in ODIs.
After failing to hold their nerve at Visakhapatnam and conceding a convincing victory to the Windies at Pune, India silenced their critics in Mumbai with a clinical performance. They outclassed their opponents in every department of the game and were simply too hot to handle the other day.
Rohit Sharma cracked an impressive 162 off 137 balls in the fourth ODI while skipper Virat Kohli hit a century in each of the first three games. These two will once again be seen performing key roles in the final ODI and lay down a similar show to dent opposition confidence before going into the shortest format.
Ambati Rayudu too has been quite consistent throughout the series with respectable scores of 22*, 73, 22 and 100 in four ODIs and he seems to a solution for India's No. 4 conundrum, at least for now. Despite impressive performances by these three, India's batting relies mostly on the top order and this might be a drawback, in case the top order fails.
Kuldeep Yadav has been the pick of the bowlers in this series with eight wickets in three matches and the chinaman will be their go-to man during middle overs.
While Jasprit Bumrah has been constant threat to the opposition and will be expected to rattle the top order in the initial overs. Khaleel Ahmad once proved to be a surprise package for all and conquered the middle over with his mysterious variation. The 20 year will be backed up by skipper to replicate his performance.
Expected Playing XI
Virat Kohli (C), Ambati Rayudu, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Rohit Sharma, K Khaleel Ahmed, Jasprit Bumrah and Shikhar Dhawan.
On the flipside, the Caribbean side will be under more pressure, as the need to win this game to avoid another series defeat. Despite the loss in the previous game, they will take a cue from their performance in the first three ODI's and will aim replicate them in the final game.
The Windies had an off day on the pitch as none of their top six batsmen were able to reach the 20-run mark in the previous fixture. Man in form Shai Hope failed to get off the mark last time out, courtesy a brilliant run out by Kuldeep, While Shimron Hetmyer has scored 250 runs so far including a hundred and a fifty and the team will need these two to put strong contributions in the final game.
Apart from them, the team will also bank on the likes of Kieran Powell and Marlon Samuels, other batsmen in this line-up, with the potential to score the big runs. Both failed to contribute so far and will be eager to make a mark in final ODI.
Ashley Nurse has been the most impressive bowler for the visitors claiming five wickets at an acceptable economy of 5.97 and will be the skipper's main hope against India's daunting top order.
Kemar Roach claimed a couple of wickets last time around, but gave away too many runs in return and he will be eager to rectify that in next one. While Marlon Samuels ended third fixture with excellent figures of 3/12 and he will be expected to snare a few wickets in the middle overs.
Expected Playing XI
Jason Holder (C), Fabian Allen, Ashley Nurse, Kemar Roach, Obed McCoy, Kieran Powell, Chandrapaul Hemraj, Shai Hope, Marlon Samuels, Shimron Hetmyer and Rovman Powell.Published 31 Oct 2018, 13:25 IST