India is set to face West Indies in the ODI series decider at Cuttack.
The Men in Blue thumped West Indies by a massive margin of 107 runs in the second ODI of the series. The openers came to the party as Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul led India to a massive total.
Earlier, they were outplayed in the opening match of the series in what was their fourth straight ODI loss at home. Shimron Hetmyer and Shai Hope scored centuries to overhaul India’s target with ease.
The match is scheduled to be played at the Barabati Stadium, Cuttack. The wicket has turned into a batting paradise of late. The highest ODI score on the wicket is a mammoth 381 runs by India.
India will look to end the year on a high in what was quite a successful year for the Men in Blue in all formats of the game. They also have a great record in series decider matches and will look to clinch the trophy.
India’s top three – Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli, will look to dictate proceedings once again. India’s captain scores in the series are not upto the standards he sets and he would like to change that.
The Indian selectors would be tempted to go with Yuzvendra Chahal in place of Shardul Thakur, who was unimpressive in the given opportunities.
Deepak Chahar was injured and was replaced by Navdeep Saini, who may come straight into the playing eleven to make his debut.
When it comes to batting, the onus will be on Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma to deliver. Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant have definitely cemented their positions after brilliant performances in the two preceding ODIs.
West Indies would look to bring in Hayden Walsh Jnr., who was dropped in favour of Khary Pierre in Visakhapatnam.
The wily leg-spinner is an amazing talent as evidenced by his record in the recently concluded CPL, where he was declared the player of the tournament.
Apart from this, the West Indies eleven has a settled look and no changes are expected as Brandon King continues to be on the sidelines.
The Windies have ample batting firepower in Shai Hope, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran and skipper Kieron Pollard and they will look to capitalize on injuries to India’s key pace bowlers.
West Indies will rely heavily on Sheldon Cottrell, Jason Holder and Alzarri Joseph to get rid of India’s top-order early on in the innings.
Roston Chase will play the floater role depending on the situation and Hope would want to be the difference maker once again.
INDIA: Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (c), Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Navdeep Saini/ Shardul Thakur, Mohammed Shami, Yuzvendra Chahal
WEST INDIES: Evin Lewis, Shai Hope (wk), Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran, Kieron Pollard (c), Roston Chase, Jason Holder, Keemo Paul, Sheldon Cottrell, Alzarri Joseph, Hayden Walsh/ Khary Pierre.
Virat Kohli vs Sheldon Cottrell
Virat Kohli is indisputably the World’s best batsman in white ball cricket. He has had a quite series upto now and will look to end the series and year on a high.
The Indian captain is third on the list of most ODI runs scored in 2019 and will be looking to climb in the table for sure.
The ICC ODI Number 1 Batsman has 11524 runs from 241 matches at a superlative average of 59.7 and a brilliant strike rate of 93.2.
Virat Kohli needs to quell Sheldon Cottrell’s pace threat
The fiery Windies pacer, Sheldon Cottrell has been highly impressive in ODIs for the past two years. The left-arm pacer is a wily customer and is a proven wicket-taker.
From 29 matches, the 30-year old veteran has managed to prise out 38 wickets even though the wickets do not favour him much.
But the thing that sets him apart is his ability to bowl well both at the start of the inning and at the death. His slower ones and yorkers are a menace for any batsman.
He has managed to prise out important wickets at the top of the order, and Pollard will expect nothing less from the Jamaican.
Mohammed Shami vs Shimron Hetmyer
Mohammed Shami changed the complexion of the second ODI with wickets of a well set Pooran and Pollard on consecutive balls. He would like to continue his rich vein of form as he looks fitter than ever.
With Jasprit Bumrah missing out again, Shami holds the aces. He is the senior most pace bowler in the team and will look to impart his wisdom to the newcomers.
Shami has 135 wickets from 72 matches at a strike rate of 27.
The onus will be on Mohammed Shami to get the prize wicket of Shimron Hetmyer
Shimron Hetmyer was easily the pick of the batsmen for the Caribbean outfit in the T20 series and the 1st ODI, and the enterprising Windies batsman is capable of upsetting India’s cause singlehandedly, as was evident in Chennai.
Along with Shai Hope, he is the lynchpin of West Indies batting order. His ability to take on the bowlers, regardless of any situation, makes him an extremely dangerous proposition for the Indian bowlers.
Hetmyer has 1379 runs from 42 matches at an incredible strike rate of 106.9. He has five centuries to his name too, including the rapid 139 he made in the first ODI of the ongoing series.
India’s batting and bowling clicked simultaneously as they demolished West Indies to level the series in the last ODI. They have now got a taste for the win and it certainly looks like they will clinch the series in this decider.
West Indies, on the other hand, are punching above their weight. They have given a tough time to each member of the Men in Blue and will look to upset India, which may be a huge boost for their young team for the upcoming tournaments.
Although, India’s record in home conditions is formidable. They had a setback in the first ODI, but were back to what they do best to level the series and there will be no looking back.
The Windies do have a few batsmen in their side who can take the game away from the opposition, but if India bowl well, the ‘Men in Blue’ should pick up a win on Sunday..
Team CricWizz predicts a series win for India.