India will look to build an unassailable 2-1 lead in the fourth ODI © IANS
India will look to build an unassailable 2-1 lead in the fourth ODI © IANS

After three matches,   India and West Indies are tied at 1-1 with two matches still in the stock. The numerics of the series have changed after Hudhud and unfortunately it’s a four match series now. The fourth One-Day International (ODI) which will be played in the Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association( HPCA) stadium at Dharamsala will hold good interest after a break of almost a week. Varun Arora looks at India’s likely XI for the ODI.

Ajinkya Rahane: He got faint starts in both the ODIs but couldn’t build big scores on the foundation. Rahane was unlucky to get run-out in the first ODI when he was looking good. He hasn’t got much runs after that  Birmingham century in the England tour, and this will be a good opportunity for him to fire in Dharamsala.

Shikhar Dhawan: He already has a half-century to his name in this series. Dhawan was India’s lone fighter in the first ODI as he stood on the wicket firing when the wickets were falling. He also looked positive in the second ODI but  got out to Jerome Taylor playing across the line. The Delhi-lad has plenty of ODI runs behind his name in last few months and he will come into the match with a lot of confidence.

Ambati Rayudu: The team management drafted Rayudu to the No 3 position in the second ODI at Feroz Shah Kotla, New Delhi keeping in mind Virat Kohli’s poor form and it worked well for both of them. Kohli was successful in the No. 4 slot and Rayudu played decently for his 32.

Virat Kohli: The second ODI at Kotla finally broke the drought of runs for Kohli. He was involved in a 175-run partnership with Suresh Raina and  carved his way to a cautiously made half-century. Though, the full flow of the straight bat was still missing but Kohli in a statement talked about regaining touch after that knock. It will be interesting to watch Kohli as he comes out to bat at Dharamsala.

Suresh Raina: He came into this tournament with a beautifully stitched knock of 109 runs in the Champions Trophy (CLT20) 2014 final but was dismissed for nought at Kochi. A lot of questions were raised by critics on his performance in ODIs but he proved them all wrong as he went on to score 62 runs at Kotla. Kohli and Raina built a strong foundation which took India to a decent score. Raina is in great flow and his footwork has been exquisite.

MS Dhoni:  You can never keep the Indian captain out of action. He got cheaply in the first ODI but made up for it with a half-century at Kotla. His importance at No. 6 slot is paramount for the Indian team.

Ravindra Jadeja: He got runs in the first ODI at Kochi when the Indian team was bundled out for a paltry 197 runs in response to mammoth 322 posted by West Indies. Jadeja is a crucial customer at No. 6 with his left-arm spin and the runs he contributes in the latter part of the innings. He was impressive with the ball at Kotla as he removed three West Indies players and was also economical.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar: India’s swing weapon Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been wicketless this series. He has a huge responsibility of giving India early breakthroughs and his bowling is important for the overall result of the match.  With a long break for one week in between the two ODIs, Kumar will come freshened up for the Dharamsala match.

Amit Mishra: The leg-spinner dismissed Kieron Pollard and Denesh Ramdin at Kotla and bowled pretty well. With the team managment pushing in Akshar Patel and Karn Sharma for two ODIs it is still unlikely that Mishra will be dropped. The other option being Kuldeep Yadav but the series is still open and Dhoni is less likely to float a new spinner

Mohammed Shami: He has been phenomenal for India this series. A total of eight wickets in two matches, he has taken the bulk of bowling responsibilty on his shoulders. Shami will hold key for India’s chances in Dharamsala.

Ishant Sharma: The tall, lanky fast-bowler can make a comeback in the Indian colours in Dharamsala. Ishant was brought back after Mohit Sharma got injured. The Dharamsala curator has given indication of bounce and movement on Friday and Ishant’s addition will be helpful for team.

India’s likely XI: Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Ambati Rayudu, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (c&wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Amit Mishra, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma.

Complete coverage of India vs West Indies 2014 here

(Varun Arora is a reporter with CricketCountry. He started as a medium-fast bowler, converted to an opening batsman but finally settled with his passion of writing about the game. His Twitter handle is @varunjgd)