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Can India stop rampant Windies in 4th ODI?

Last updated on: October 28, 2018 14:34 IST

International cricket returns to the Cricket Club of India, which last hosted a Test in 2009 and an ODI back in 2006.

IMAGE: India ended up on the losing side for the first time in the home series against the West Indies after losing the third ODI by 43 runs in Pune on Saturday. Photograph: BCCI

India will look to find the 'perfect' balance in their playing eleven when they take on a resurgent West Indies in the fourth One-day International in Mumbai on Monday.

The decision to play with five specialist bowlers in Saturday’s third ODI in Pune did not work for India and they ended up as the losing side for the first time in the home series against the West Indies.

 

With the series surprisingly tied at 1-1, and two matches to go, Virat Kohli's team finds itself in a must-win situation at the Cricket Club of India.

Credit must be given to the West Indies, who have not only moved on from a dismal Test series but given the formidable hosts a run for their money in the One-day format.    

As Kohli pointed out after the 43-run loss in the third ODI, the return of Kedar Jadhav from injury will give the team much-needed depth in both the batting and bowling departments.

"You will always drift to one side when you don't have the balance. We have to think about the perfect balance we need," said the skipper after the defeat.

IMAGE: India needs big scoring from its middle-order, particularly Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Photograph: BCCI

An unstable middle-order and lack of runs from Mahendra Singh Dhoni's bat are other issues facing India, not just for Monday's fixture but also in the long run, with 15 games remaining before the World Cup in England next year.

Having lost his place in the Twenty20 team, Dhoni is in desperate need of runs in the limited opportunities that are left ahead of the 50-over showpiece event.

Ambati Rayudu (22) did get a start in Pune, but if the right-hander wants to hold on to the number four spot, he will have to keep scoring consistently.

Rishabh Pant, who batted at five, ahead of Dhoni in the previous game, has been his usual aggressive self but a significant score in his debut ODI series is still awaited.

Amid all the uncertainty, Jadhav's return in the middle-order is more than welcome. His fitness was a concern in the recent past but he looked good in his first competitive game, played during the Deodhar Trophy, after recovering from a hamstring injury.

Besides his powerful hitting, his off-spin could also come handy.

Openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma, who have had twin failures, are due for a big partnership.

The biggest positive for the hosts is the form of skipper Kohli, who struck his third straight hundred in the third ODI, becoming the first Indian to do so.

While most will back Kohli to get another hundred at the CCI, the skipper will be expecting a much-improved performance from his team.

Jasprit Bumrah

IMAGE: Jasprit Bumrah made a stunning comeback, bagging four wickets in the third ODI. Photograph: BCCI

On the bowling front, Jasprit Bumrah made a stunning comeback, claiming four wickets on Saturday night. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, however, conceded runs in the death overs but trust him to bounce back.

The role of both the spinners -- Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav -- will be crucial in restricting the Windies batsmen.

For the West Indies, their biggest asset is wicketkeeper Shai Hope, who has played two key innings, a 123 in Visakhapatnam followed by a crucial 95 in Pune.

He will be hoping for another big knock on Monday and so will Shimron Hetmyer, who failed to convert his start in the third ODI.

IMAGE: Shimron Hetmyer is the one to watch out for after scores of 106 and 94 in the first two ODIs. Photograph: BCCI

The 21-year-old southpaw, who had scores of 106 and 94 before the Pune game, is the one watch out for again.

Apart from these two star players, the Windies will be hoping that the likes of Kieron Powell, Chanderpaul Hemraj, Rovman Powell fire in the crucial contest.

The experienced Marlon Samuels shone with the ball in the third ODI, claiming three wickets but his bat has not done the talking so far. Skipper Jason Holder would also be itching to make a match-winning contribution.

The bowlers would have taken confidence from bundling out India in Pune. Pacer Obed McCoy and off-spinner Ashley Nurse will be high on confidence as the West Indies aim to take the series lead.

With the encounter on Monday, international cricket returns to the CCI, which last hosted a Test in 2009 and an ODI back in 2006.

Squads:

India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Rishabh Pant, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wicketkeeper), Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Khaleel Ahmed, Umesh Yadav, K L Rahul, Manish Pandey and Kedar Jadhav.

West Indies: Jason Holder (captain), Fabian Allen, Sunil Ambris, Devendra Bishoo, Chanderpaul Hemraj, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Ashley Nurse, Keemo Paul, Rovman Powell, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels.

Match starts: 1330 IST.

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