Oct 31, 2018
By MI Media
It wasn’t a Virat Kohli hundred but the class of Rohit Sharma that enabled India to a massive in Mumbai - this has quite been a story in the recent past where the world number one or the world number two who have been scoring heavy runs in a winning cause. The visitors had no answers to India’s relentless hitting, swing and spin as well.
On the flip side, Jason Holder’s men will get their last crack at India in a bid to draw level and share the spoils in the 50-over contest of this tour.
The Greenfield Stadium is also set to host it’s first ever ODI when India and Windies meet in the series decider on November 1. Here’s a look at what could be on offer in Thiruvananthapuram.
From the Indian dressing room:
Shikhar Dhawan desperately needs a big score after failing to score even a half-century in the 5-match series. India could well try Rahul in place of him just to keep the stylish stroke-maker in the mix. Rohit Sharma is in the form of his life. He has already got two scores in excess of 150 in this series helping him live up to his number 2 rank in the ODI ratings.
Virat Kohli will also be happy with his own form despite missing out in Mumbai. He will be more happy with the fact that his team’s investment in Rayudu at number four is paying dividends.
All that India will be hoping for in the last ODI is for MS Dhoni to score some runs and get that confidence going with the bat.
Kedar Jadhav at number six is a boon to the side and India will want him to take up more responsibility with Hardik Pandya out injured.
Talking about India’s bowling, Kohli will be happy to see Khaleel making his presence felt in conditions conducive to seam and swing. If he keeps performing, he could well see himself in that plane to England later next year for the mega event.
Jasprit Bumrah and Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowl well in tandem with the new ball and at the death which will ease the management’s headache. India will also try and keep that batting cushion in Jadeja for the 5th ODI which could mean Yuzvendra Chahal missing out on another game.
From the Windies dressing room:
After their Mumbai drubbing, Windies will be keen to bounce back in the final one-dayer before their big guns return for the shorter format. The absence of Chris Gayle and Evin Lewis is clearly hurting Holder’s men at the top.
Chandrapaul Hemraj might see himself facing the axe if Windies aim to play Sunil Ambris alongside Kieran Powell. On a day when Shai Hope and Shimron Hetmyer couldn’t stick around, we all know what happened.
Windies will want their men-in-form to score runs in order to be in the reckoning in the final game. Marlon Samuels and Rovman Powell have been very disappointing in this series. They have made no impact with the bat - a mistake they would want to correct in Kerala.
In this case, Jason Holder can consider batting higher up the order in a bid to solve the middle order chaos.
There has been no update about Ashley Nurse’s injured shoulder but the visitors will want him to play. They can also look at bringing back Devendra Bishoo in place of a fragile Fabian Allen.
As far as their pace battery is concerned, Keemo Paul didn’t quite impress at the CCI. If they fall back to Obed McCoy or bring in Oshane Thomas to partner Roach and Holder will be interesting to see.
One can expect another run-feast on a flat and dry looking Greenfield wicket on November 1.