posted on 2019-08-13 17:24:38
posted by Michael Harrison
Image courtesy: Yahoo Cricket
West Indies: C Gayle, E Lewis, S Hope, N Pooran, S Hetmyer, R Chase, J Holder, C Brathwaite, K Paul, K Roach, S Cottrell
India: S Dhawan, R Sharma, V Kohli, S Iyer, R Pant, K Jadhav, R Jadeja, B Kumar, M Shami, K Yadav/Y Chahal, N Saini/K Ahmed
India's last 10 overs with the bat and overs 11-40 of West Indies' batting will be critical sub-plots in this game.
A couple of days after having taken an unassailable lead at Port of Spain, India return to the same venue in a bid to seal the series. West Indies haven't been competitive in the limited-overs leg so far but there will be some respite if they can pull off a win in this decider, as it would give them consecutive drawn ODI series against England and India.
While that would be a reasonably fine achievement, it won't be easy for West Indies, primarily due to their batting which continues to be rigid in their approach. They're either ultra-defensive or go out all guns blazing, and such extremes don't give consistent success in a format like ODI cricket. It's a puzzle that they need to sort out sooner than later.
Chris Gayle might possibly be playing his final game and there could be some changes in the batting order after this series. In the bowling department, Oshane Thomas could be given a break with the Tests not that far away. Apart from this change, the hosts are unlikely to tinker with their line-up.
India have been clinical in all their wins on this tour so far. The second ODI saw skipper Virat Kohli breaking an unusually long century drought but India saw that familiar middle order issue, especially in the back end. Shreyas Iyer's form is a boost and it's bizarre that the Mumbai batsman hasn't been given the no.4 role yet.
Rishabh Pant seems to be a gear too high for that slot but the think tank seem to have other ideas. Interesting to see if the two swap slots in this decider. In the bowling department, India might swap the wrist spinners and perhaps even give Navdeep Saini another crack at the West Indies batsmen.
Odds and Predictions
India seem to be difficult to beat for West Indies at present and if it's a used surface for the final ODI, the hosts virtually have no chance. A fresh pitch could have more pace and bounce, and that is West Indies only chance of causing an upset. Considering all factors, it's 75-25 in favor of India in this game.