India vs West Indies 3rd ODI at Kanpur Preview: Visitors look to challenge ODI champions one more time

Ravi Rampaul (left) will be looking to stop the Indian batsmen from scoring freely © IANS

By Abhijit Banare
Nov 26, 2013
A motivated West Indies team will be eyeing a series victory as they play against India in the third and final One-Day International (ODI) at Kanpur. The visitors, till the second ODI, looked completely out of sorts with their batting. The exit of Chris Gayle only made things difficult. The batsmen, though, finally managed to stick together and dragged themselves past the finish line. Nevertheless a win is a win as they have gained the self-belief to challenge one more time to make for a much closer contest at Kanpur.
From India’s perspective, it was a wake-up call. A first innings total of 288, with this batting line-up was still short. Apart from Virat Kohli‘s purple patch and MS Dhoni‘s blitzkrieg, the other batsmen couldn’t capitalise and regular wickets just stifled their increasing run-rate. Yuvraj Singh has also attracted some eyeballs due to his dry run. It’s unfair to take any extreme stand on Yuvraj considering that he is a match-winner and even in low form he can keep his team in the game with his all-round skills. Having been selected for the tour of South Africa, the southpaw has received the backing and time he needs to set himself right. The final ODI will be a good stage for him to get back the flow before facing a much tougher opposition in foreign conditions. The same is the case with Suresh Raina.
Not to forget India were well in the game in the second innings as well. The fast bowlers just missed their length and paid the price. That is one aspect which would have been discussed after the loss.
It was a team effort for West Indies but two performances set up the victory and they will continue to be a threat in the match ahead — Ravi Rampaul and Darren Sammy. The West Indies captain, in the limited overs format, looks a completely different player making his presence felt with his all-round skill. His lack of technique is no deterrent in timing the ball for big hits. Lower down the order, he showed why he can be a dangerous player especially in chases.
With his variations and formidable pace, Rampaul troubled the batsmen consistently. Sunil Narine has always been difficult to tackle. The visitors’ bowling looks settled to challenge the Indian batsmen. The hosts on the other hand have won consistently in the 50-over format and will be tough enough to fight back and give no inch. Despite Sammy and Lendl Simmons sharing a crucial 82-run partnership towards the end, India pulled them back making a comfortable victory into a difficult one. It could have been much closer if the Indian bowlers had not been dealing with the dew factor as well.
Dew did play a huge role and hence winning the toss too was a huge factor. But the third ODI is a day game and the ground will be clear from such problems for the team bowling second. At the same time, India need to rethink their strategies while batting first. Perhaps they look to have developed a fearless and confident mindset for any chase but the same fire diminishes while setting the targets.
Coming to team composition, India are unlikely to fiddle around with a well-settled XI good enough to outplay West Indies. Dhoni will prefer to stick with Mohit Sharma (the only change from last game in place of Jaydev Unadkat) despite being expensive. For West Indies, it depends whether they would like to stay with Veerasammy Permaul, who bowled well or bring back Narsingh Deonarine. The rest of the side looks fairly good.
With a win in the second ODI, one can expect the visitors to keep the heat on India and an evenly fought battle is on cards.

India (Probable): Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni (c & wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohit Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami. 

West Indies (Probable): Kieran Powell, Johnson Charles (wk), Darren Bravo, Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Bravo (c), Lendl Simmons, Veerasammy Permaul, Darren Sammy, Sunil Narine, Jason Holder, Ravi Rampaul.
Time: 9:00 IST | 03:30 GMT

(Abhijit Banare is a reporter at CricketCountry. He is an avid quizzer and loves to analyse and dig out interesting facts which allows him to learn something new every day. Apart from cricket he also likes to keep a sharp eye on Indian politics, and can be followed on Twitter and blog)