‘Buoyant’ Indians look to wrap up ODI series 2-0
This series won’t go down as one of the more memorable ones, purely because of the unpredictable weather that the Caribbean has decided to dish up. Isolated thunderstorms have been forecast at Port of Spain for the series-decider on Wednesday, however it’s not expected to determine the result of the match. India have all the momentum heading into this third & final ODI after getting the job done comfortably against the hosts in the second game by 59 runs, significant-improvement is required if the Windies are any chance of salvaging the series. With an upcoming test series that India is expected to dominate, this could be the West Indies last chance to impress before entering the pressure cooker that is the 5-day format.
A great start to the second ODI for the West Indies was quickly snuffed out by the supremely-talented Virat Kohli who killed off any sort of momentum the hosts had after claiming the early-wicket of Shikhar Dhawan. Spinner & lively-fieldsman Fabian Allen was declared unfit which saw 22-year-old quick Oshane Thomas come into the Windies playing XI. Bowling just four overs which proved to be quite expensive (0/32), Thomas is unlikely to hold his spot in the side regardless of Allen’s availability. All-rounder Roston Chase was surprisingly economical with the ball, conceding just 37 runs from his 10 overs. The Indians struggled to get him away, resulting in the wicket of Rohit who looked to be getting tied down at the crease. Shimron Hetmyer’s lean-run with the willow continues, scores of 0, 6*, 1 and 18 aren’t ideal numbers for a middle-order batsman of Hetmyer’s class. Big-hitting opener Evin Lewis and 23-year-old young gun Nicholas Pooran who shows fearless attributes against any bowler are the only two batsmen who look capable of scoring runs at the moment. If ever they needed a Chris Gayle-fireworks display at the top of the order, now would be the ideal time.
Now that losing the series is out of the question, India might be tempted to make some changes. Another batting-masterclass from Indian skipper Virat Kohli in the second ODI reiterated the point that he is probably the best modern-day batsman in the world across all three formats. Kohli himself admitted to being “tired” halfway through his innings, but he fought through fatigue and produced a match-winning 120 which lasted just short of three hours. After a dominant tournament with the bat in the recent World Cup, Rohit Sharma couldn’t get going at all in Trinidad & Tobago. Looking agitated & restless to find the boundary, Rohit’s frustration finally got the better of him. Shreyas Iyer was exceptional in just his eighth ODI, albeit a bit streaky with a couple outside edges, luck appeared to be on his side as he cruised to 71 before having his leg stump knocked back by Jason Holder. There’s a huge possibility that Manish Pandey could slot into India’s XI for the final ODI, most-likely at the expense of Kedar Jadhav. With Ravindra Jadeja offering plenty with the ball, Jadhav won’t be overly-missed if Pandey was to replace him. Bhuvneshwar Kumar was on fire with the ball at Port of Spain, figures of 4/31 suggests that he’s going nowhere.
TOP 5 FANTASY PICKS!
- Sheldon Cottrell
- Evin Lewis
- Shai Hope
- Nicholas Pooran
- Jason Holder
Wildcard pick – Roston Chase
- Virat Kohli
- Bhuvneshwar Kumar
- Rohit Sharma
- Mohammed Shami
- Ravindra Jadeja
Wildcard pick – Shikhar Dhawan
West Indies (possible) – 1. Chris Gayle 2. Evin Lewis 3. Shai Hope (wk) 4. Nicholas Pooran 5. Shimron Hetmyer 6. Roston Chase 7. Jason Holder (c) 8. Carlos Brathwaite 9. Fabian Allen/Keemo Paul 10. Kemar Roach 11. Sheldon Cottrell.
India (possible) – 1. Shikhar Dhawan 2. Rohit Sharma 3. Virat Kohli (c) 4. Rishabh Pant (wk) 5. Shreyas Iyer 6. Manish Pandey/Kedar Jadhav 7. Ravindra Jadeja 8. Bhuvneshwar Kumar 9. Mohammed Shami 10. Kuldeep Yadav 11. Khaleel Ahmed/Navdeep Saini.
Zak Varik is an Australian columnist/writer who specializes in the sports category cricket. With over four years of experience covering all sorts of cricket tournaments around the world, Zak has gained extensive knowledge in International cricket as well as domestic.
“I’ve loved watching cricket since I was about 7 years old, my childhood hero was none other than Andrew “Roy” Symonds who probably enhanced my love of the game through the years”.
Zak is now an established writer for FCN (Fantasy Cricket News) and has also previously represented other Blogs during his time as a writer.