India were handed a timely reality check in Vizag when the Windies put up a gritty performance in the second one-day international to secure a thrilling tie. India are currently leading the series 1-0 with three games still to play. While their batting continues to thrive in home conditions the bowling department has several areas to improve. In both the matches at Guwahati and Vizag, the bowlers haven’t been able to control the game and giving away more than 600 runs. It is no wonder that the Indian think tank has opted to call back heir two front-line pace options – Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah.
The pitch at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune also tends to favour the seamers, giving late movement under lights. Hence, along with the two pacers, Khaleel Ahmed may also get the nod. Ravindra Jadeja recent struggles might lead to his exclusion as Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav remain Virat Kohli’s first choice spinners. Kuldeep needs 2 wickets to complete 50 scalps under the captaincy of Virat Kohli in ODIs.
With two centuries in as many matches, the Indian captain will look to carry forward his spectacular run of form. Kohli has scored 212 runs at an average of 70.66 at the MCA Stadium, Pune – most by any batsman at this venue. Batting remains India’s least worry but Shikhar Dhawan and MS Dhoni haven’t been among the runs and should look at this game to make amends.
For the visitors, the form of Shimron Hetmyer and Shai Hope bodes well. But others like Rovman Powell, Kieron Powell, Chanderpaul Hemraj need to prove their worth. But it is the bowling department which has cost the Windies most as Kemar Roach and the young seamers (Obed McCoy and Oshane Thomas) have been milked for runs. Another headache has been the lack of ineffectiveness of Devendra Bishoo who has the worst bowling average (65.20) in the list of spinners with minimum 60 overs bowled in 2018 in ODIs.
India – Virat Kohli (Captain), Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Ambati Rayudu, Rishabh Pant, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Jasprit Bumrah, Khaleel Ahmed, Umesh Yadav, KL Rahul and Manish Pandey.
West Indies – Jason Holder (Captain), Fabian Allen Sunil Ambris, Devendra Bishoo, Chanderpaul Hemraj, Shimron Hetmyer, Shai Hope, Obed McCoy, Ashley Nurse, Keemo Paul, Kieran Powell, Rovman Powell, Kemar Roach, Marlon Samuels and Oshane Thomas.