India aim to bounce back in Mumbai

A 9th ranked Windies team defeated a 2nd ranked Indian team in Pune to level the series 1-1 on Saturday. After a day’s break when India meet the men in maroon at the Cricket Club of India in Mumbai (Brabourne Stadium), a lot will be at stake.

We take a look at what is on offer ahead of the 4th ODI.

From the Indian dressing room:

India’s pattern when they lose matches in the 50-over format is pretty similar. When the top three fail, the middle order feels burdened and ends up fumbling. The way Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli have batted since the 2015 World Cup, has helped India script many of these wins with the bat.

The concern lies in the middle order. Now with Ambati Rayudu owning that number four position, a lot looks settled but the real problem starts after that. Rishabh Pant made to bat at number five, ahead of Dhoni couldn’t make a big impact.

When MS Dhoni walked out to bat at number six, India didn’t have a lot of batting left. The asking rate was under control with Virat Kohli batting steadily on the other end. Dhoni the finisher, had to bat around Kohli and take India through. But this didn’t happen and India’s chase went haywire once they lost their former skipper.

The 4-6 positions are really critical for India. Virat Kohli stressed about the need of having Hardik Pandya and Kedar Jadhav back in the mix because both these players can bowl too which suits the balance of the team.

While Hardik continues to recover, India have Kedar Jadhav match-ready. Jadhav should walk into the side but the at the cost of whom will remain a question. India will also be tempted to play Ravindra Jadeja most likely in place of Khaleel Ahmed who took a beating in Pune.

Jadeja will also add the much needed depth to this batting line-up. Bhuvneshwar Kumar leaked a lot of runs on his return but that has generally happened to him in the first game after his break so one can expect him to step up in Mumbai.

Jasprit Bumrah was absolutely clinical and India will want their premier bowler to reproduce his performance at Brabourne. The number one ranked ODI pacer was starred with the ball, snaring 4 wickets and conceded just 35 runs from his 10 overs.

Spin twins Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have both been made to look ordinary when Shimron Hetmyer and Shai Hope bat. If they can step up and tame these two men, India will feel confident.

From the Windies dressing room:

The visitors have shown their ability to adapt and apply themselves. They are no more competing but winning as well. Though the pressure of their opening partnership not working out hasn’t come to them, Holder will want both Kieran Powell and Chandrapaul Hemraj to provide a solid start on a traditionally batting friendly Brabourne track.

They will be pleased with the way Shai Hope has batted. He has taken the run-scoring baton from Marlon Samuels and anchored the innings when his team has wanted him to.

Windies will be hoping for him to continue batting positively. Marlon Samuels, high on confidence for his bowling heroics, will aim to add value with the bat too.

Rovman Powell, who has been a disappointment with the bat so far, needs one good knock to back his potential. Windies will also want their skipper Jason Holder and Ashley Nurse to continue scoring runs lower down the order. We all know what difference Nurse’s 22-ball 40 made in Pune.

Jason Holder the bowler has also benefitted the Windies – first when he dismissed Rohit with the new ball and later when he got rid of Dhoni. Fabian Allen, after impressing early on, took a beating when Pant took him to the cleaners. If the management wants to bring back Bishoo in place of him or give him a long run will be interesting to see.

Kemar Roach and Obed McCoy are also certain to keep their place if fitness is not a concern.

Windies will be hoping to continue playing in the same momentum, dismantle India’s top three and expose their out-of-form middle order to take a lead in the series.