A sublime hundred by captain Virat Kohli meant that India competed for a comfortable victory over West Indies at Port of Spain by 59 runs. India will be particularly happy with Shreyas Iyer scoring a good 71 and will be hoping that he goes from strength to strength from here. The bowling attack did its job with Bhuvneshwar Kumar being the pick with a great spell to break the West Indies challenge.
Shikhar Dhawan’s failure means that he had had a poor four games since his return and India would want him to score some runs. Rohit Sharma has well has struggled to get going on these slow surfaces except for that one good 65 in the T20Is. The team though for the final ODI is expected to be the same as the series is still on the line.
West Indies, on the other hand, was plagued by the same issues they faced during the World Cup. The middle-order failed to take responsibility and the opening combination is something they would be worried about. Chris Gayle who just completed his 300th ODI has struggled so far in this series and West Indies might drop him for the final game. The form of Evin Lewis and Nicholas Pooran might be something they would be happy about. The bowling attack though did a good job and will most likely be retained except possibly the return of Fabian Allen if he is fit again. West Indies though will want more from their all-rounders if they want to challenge India in this game.
Virat Kohli (India): Virat Kohli is at his best and at most ease in the ODI format and he showed the same with that hundred in the second ODI. His consistency in this format is unparalleled and his average of 59+ is phenomenal. He will be the glue that holds the Indian middle-order which is still finding its feet.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar (India): Kumar once again proved what an asset he is in this format especially in conditions such as the ones we have found in the Carribean. The pitches are slow and his cutters and variations work brilliantly in the latter half of the innings which we saw in abundance in Trinidad.
Nicholas Pooran (West Indies): Pooran along with Evin Lewis has been West Indies’s best batter in this series. He has gotten off to some starts but hasn’t been able to get a big score. With a struggling middle order, West Indies will be hoping for a better conversion from the young man in the decider.
Sheldon Cottrell (West Indies): Cottrell once again had a good game in the second ODI. He has been getting wickets with the new ball and also has been bowling well at the back end of the innings. He will want to repeat the same in the final ODI to give his team a chance to level this series.
What they said?
“Extremely disappointing. We bowled really well and the game was in our hands. We lost crucial wickets at the back end to lose the game. We need to take responsibility. We need to take the game deep. The pitch was pretty good but the bowlers despite the humid conditions did well. The batters have to take responsibility. They have been letting us down far too often.” Said Jason Holder after their disappointing loss in the second ODI
” I want to stay in the team for a while, the consistency is always important, I want to play well and contribute to the team,” said Shreyas Iyer after his fifty in the second ODI
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (c), Rishabh Pant (WK), Shreyas Iyer, Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kuldeep Yadav, Khaleel Ahmed, Mohammad Shami
West Indies XI:
Chris Gayle/John Campbell, Evin Lewis, Shai Hope, Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Carlos Brathwaite, Jason Holder, Roston Chase, Fabian Allen/Oshane Thomas, Kemar Roach, Sheldon Cottrell
India will start confidently in this contest with the knowledge that they haven’t lost a series to the hosts in a long time. The Indian combination has done enough so far without being spectacular to win games in this series. West Indies, on the other hand, have struggled through the series and have found difficult to maintain any consistency. They would need very good performances from the batters if they want to put any pressure on the Indian batters.