India keen to bounce back against confident Windies in Kanpur
Reeling from a shocking defeat in the second game, world champions India will look to bounce back and assert their supremacy when they take on West Indies in the series-deciding third and final One-Day International, in Kanpur, on Wednesday.
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India dominated the two-Test series and eased to victory in the first ODI but the hosts suffered a surprise two-wicket defeat in Visakhapatnam, failing to defend a competitive total under difficult conditions.
West Indies will be boosted by the victory, which was their first since arriving in India, and they now will be fancying their chances of winning the final ODI and return home with the ODI series.
The visitors, for the first time on this tour, will approach a match with self belief and confidence.
For India, it is last international match at home before they embark on a challenging tour against South Africa and they would like to finish this series on a high.
Image: Team India
'We want Yuvi to do well. He is someone who can bat well at No 4'
India will once again depend on it's batsmen to continue their fine showing and post a huge total. The top three -- Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni -- have been the real force behind India's domination with the bat in the recent ODIs at home.
With scores of 86 and 99 in the two matches played so far, Kohli, in particular, has been in scintillating form.
But it is the form of Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina in the middle order which will be a cause of concern for Dhoni ahead of the series decider. The two left-handers have struggled to get going as they have been throwing their wickets away after getting starts. But Dhoni, who struck a quick-fire 51 in the last to propel India to 288, backed Yuvraj to strike form in the upcoming matches, terming the left-hander as vital cog in India's middle-order.
"We want Yuvi to do well. He is someone who can bat well at No 4. Someone who can really dominate the oppositions. Last few games, he has struggled a bit. At times it happens when you're under pressure the 15-20 first deliveries become crucial," Dhoni had said after the second ODI.
All-rounder Ravindra Jadeja, who has been doing a decent job with his slow left-armers, would also be desperate to get back among the runs.
Image: Rohit Sharma (left) with Shikhar Dhawan
Dew hampered Indian bowlers in the second ODI
Barring the last match where dew played a major factor, the Indian bowlers have been pretty consistent in the series so far.
The pace trio of Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami and Mohit Sharma leaked runs in Visakhapatnam. Dew did not help their cause as they struggled to grip the ball and handed out loose deliveries to the West Indies batsmen.
The spin duo of Ravichandran Ashwin and Jadeja, as usual, have been good with the ball in the two games and they would like to carry on their good show to help India clinch the series.
Dhoni would also be hoping for an improved showing from his fielders as they dropped as many as four catches in the last match.
Image: Mohammed Shami (left) celebrates with Suresh Raina
Bowling still remains a concern for West Indies
West Indies, on the other hand, did just enough to secure the win in the second match.
Kieran Powell, who has replaced injured Chris Gayle in the playing eleven, Darren Bravo, Lendl Simmons and Darren Sammy scored crucial half-centuries to help the Caribbean side in securing their maiden win on the tour.
However, one thing which would be worrying skipper Dwayne Bravo is his batsmen's inability to convert the starts into big scores.
Even though bowling still remains a concern for West Indies, their bowlers played a key role in keeping the series alive with an improved showing in the last match to restrict India to 288, who at one stage were on 194 for 3 in the 36th over, with Kohli on course for an 18th ODI century.
Ravi Rampaul, Jason Holder and Sunil Narine pulled the visitors back. Narine bowled his last five overs in the last match for just eight runs, bowling two maidens while Rampaul took the wickets.
Toss will be crucial in third ODI in Kanpur
Despite Dhoni's assault towards the end, a total of 95 in the last 15 overs meant a manageable chase, which became easier as the dew got heavier.
With the series-decider being a day match, toss would play a crucial role and the team winning the toss would definitely like to exploit the early morning conditions at the Green Park stadium.
The two captains, however, would be cautious as they don't know what to expect from the pitch at the stadium, which is hosting an international match after nearly four years.
The last time Green Park hosted an international affair was a Test match between India and Sri Lanka in November 2009 which the hosts won comfortably.
India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammad Shami, Jaydev Unadkat, R Vinay Kumar, Ambati Rayudu, Mohit Sharma and Amit Mishra.
West Indies: Dwayne Bravo (captain), Johnson Charles, Marlon Samuels, Darren Bravo, Lendl Simmons, Narsingh Deonarine, Darren Sammy, Jason Holder, Sunil Narine,
Ravi Rampaul, Tino Best, Veerasammy Permaul, Kieran Powell and Denesh Ramdin.
Match starts at 9am IST.
Image: West Indies captain Dwayne Bravo (left) with India's captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni