A ruthless Indian team is unlikely to take its foot off the pedal as it looks to complement a world record-winning performance with another clean sweep against the West Indies on Wednesday. India set a world record on Sunday by taking their 12th consecutive win in the ODI format against the West Indies – the most against a team.
Against this backdrop, head coach Rahul Dravid might be tempted to try out some of his reserve players, but he’ll need to strike a good balance between maintaining momentum and testing his bench strength. In the batting division, it’s unlikely that Ruturaj Gaikwad would be preferred over Shubman Gill, who wouldn’t like to sit out after two innings of 64 and 43.
Gaikwad had had a full South African run in which he looked distinctly uneasy against the quality pace. While his IPL credentials have kept him in the mix, the chances of the Indian cricket establishment investing in him any time soon seem slim. Shreyas Iyer and Sanju Samson have also hit the belts with the fifties in the last game and Suryakumar Yadav is not expected to cool his heels at the expense of Ishan Kishan, despite his double failures in the first two games.
Kishan is seen as a timer of the ball that the Powerplay overs can put to good use by hitting the in-field. He’s not a power hitter who can force the pace past the 35th, so Samson is a better option despite being a left-hander.
Ravindra Jadeja as the designated vice-captain was the first-choice all-rounder in this series before being banned from the first two matches due to a knee problem.
It is still not certain whether Jadeja will be available for the final match, as Axar Patel found himself hard to feel through after his match-winning knockout of 64 in the second game.
However, if Dhawan wants to play two spinners with two left arms, Yuzvendra Chahal can be asked to rest, but that comes at the cost of variation in the bowling attack.
Arshdeep Singh had a groin problem during the England ODIs, but as he is a bowler with a left arm seam, he could be tried in place of Avesh Khan, who was a tad expensive in the second ODI. He leaked 54 runs in his six wicketless overs.
Avesh and Prasidh Krishna have a similar type of bowling style where deliveries are brought up from the back of length or good length.
It only justifies one of the two starting at the eleven.
As for the West Indies, they have capable players, but as a unit they have failed to fire. They depend too much on the individual brilliance of Shai Hope, Nicholas Pooran, Rovman Powell or Romario Shepherd.
More importantly, the team has shown no resilience to win key moments that could affect the outcome of the match. The West Indies would do well to use Jason Holder’s experience in the final game of the series.
The hosts would aim to end their losing streak in ODIs, which has now stretched to eight games, including a 0-3 loss to Bangladesh in the previous rubber.
Teams (out): West Indies: Nicholas Pooran (Captain), Shai Hope (Vice Captain), Shamarh Brooks, Keacy Carty, Jason Holder, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Keemo Paul, Rovman Powell and Jayden Seales, Hayden Walsh.
India: Shikhar Dhawan (Captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan (World Cup), Sanju Samson (World Cup), Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan, Prasidh Krishna, Mohd Siraj, Arshdeep Singh.
(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)