India vs West Indies, 3rd ODI: Can Windies pull off an upset?

Team India came back strongly in the second ODI in Visakhapatanam with a 107-run win against West Indies. Skipper Virat Kohli will be hoping to continue the good performance in Cuttack on a Super Sunday afternoon in the series decider.

After being the ‘Man of the Series’ in T20s, Kohli has not had a great time in the ODI series and has scored single digit scores in the first 2 matches and so, he will be looking to end this year on a high. In fact, Kohli has scored 1292 runs from 25 ODIs this year and is locked in a contest with his vice-captain Rohit Sharma and Shai Hope in the list of top ODI run-getters in 2019.

At Vizag, K L Rahul let the bat do the talking, and along with Rohit Sharma’s hundred, set up the perfect platform for Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant to mount a match-winning total. Good bowling performances by Mohammed Shami and Kuldeep Yadav propelled India to a win.

Navdeep Saini will join the team as cover for the injured Deepak Chahar. He is coming back into the team after playing in the Ranji Trophy match against Andhra, where he took a five-wicket haul in the first innings. India will be making one change to the eleven with either Yuzuvendra Chahal or Saini coming in for the injured Deepak Chahar.

On the other hand, West Indies has their task cut out and they would look to improve their bowling performance and pick the right eleven. For all his experience, Captain Kieron Pollard hasn’t been making optimum use of his bowling options. West Indies couldn’t control the run flow in death overs in the second ODI and off-spinner Roston Chase betrayed nerves after being brought on at the death—taken apart for a record 31 runs by Shreyas Iyer in one over. Pace-bowling all-rounder Romario Shepherd could finally get a look-in or Hayden Walsh might come back to the eleven in the crunch game.

Conditions

Cuttack has been a high-scoring venue and it could well turn out to be another run feast for the cricket fans.

Probable XIs

India — Rohit Sharma, K L Rahul, Virat Kohli (C), Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (WK), Kedar Jadhav, Shivam Dube, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal/Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur.

West Indies — Shai Hope (WK), Sunil Ambris, Shimron Hetmyer, Roston Chase, Nicolas Pooran, Kieron Pollard (C), Jason Holder, Keemo Paul, Hayden Walsh/Romario Shepherd, Alzarri Joseph, Sheldon Cottrell.

Key Players

Mohammed Shami — Shami wasn’t part of ODI set up early this year but with Bumrah missing, he was recalled for the New Zealand series, which turned around his ODI career. He won the Man of the Series award in New Zealand and the rest is history. Shami has taken 41 wickets from 20 ODIs including a Hat-trick against Afghanistan and is also the leading wicket-taker in the format this year.

Nicholas Pooran — Pooran is one of the finds of 2019 in the ODI format. He made his debut in the 50-over format in February against England and has since been a steady presence in the middle order. Pooran has scored 639 runs from 18 matches including a hundred and four fifties at an average of 49.15 and strike rate of 107.04 this year. He will be crucial for West Indies’ chances for making history by winning an ODI series against India since 2005-06.

Trivia

Last time Cuttack hosted an ODI match, both Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni scored hundreds.

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