An excellent bowling performance inspired by skipper Jason Holder’s 5-wicket haul was the reason behind West Indies’ narrow victory in the fourth ODI at Antigua. It’s now time for the fifth and final ODI of the series between West Indies and India that is to be played at Kingston on Thursday, July 6th. Which team has its nose ahead in the final clash of the 5-match ODI series? Let’s have a look at the strengths and weaknesses of both squads in order to predict the winner.
Ajinkya Rahane’s dream run! With four successive half centuries that includes one century as well, Ajinkya Rahane has been the most impressive batsman on this tour so far. Rahane was in the squad for Champions Trophy but didn’t get a chance to feature in the playing XI. However, the Mumbai batsman has made the most out of these four innings he’s got to play in the Caribbean. No other Indian batsman has shown the promise like Rahane has in the bilateral series. With the final of the series to be played on Thursday, Rahane will be aiming to score his fifth consecutive half-century and enter the record books.
Kuldeep Yadav’s impressive performance! Left arm Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav has been the find of the tour for India. With a couple of 3-wicket hauls in the series and a 2-for in the previous match, Kuldeep has increased his chances of getting selected in India’s future ODI series’. That leaves Jadeja’s place in the side in a spot of bother.
All-round show by Hardik Pandya! The all-rounder picked up three wickets and played a handy little knock at Antigua the other day. However, Pandya failed to get the team over the line as a result of which West Indies are still alive in the series. Windies can’t win the series, but they can surely ensure a draw if the hosts manage to pull off a win on Thursday.
Struggled against spinners! On slow West Indian pitches, Indian batsmen have struggled to dominate opposition spinners. Considered to be good players against spin, Indian batsmen have only managed to strike at a rate of 50 when it comes to scoring against spin. Bishoo and Nurse have bowled really well to keep Indian batsmen quiet on slow West Indian wickets.
Dhoni’s losing his Midas touch! Dhoni scored his career’s slowest half-century in the last match. A fifty that came off 108 deliveries, made it difficult for team India to chase down a mediocre target of 190. MS was awarded the man of the match for his impressive 70-odd score in the third ODI but the same man was the reason behind India’s downfall at the same venue in the very next contest.
India (Probable XI) – Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli(c), Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni, Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Ravichandran Ashwin, Mohammad Shami, Umesh Yadav.
West Indies: Strengths
Top order contributing! Electing to bat first in the third ODI, West Indian top order gave them a decent start as compared to their starts in the previous matches of the series. Their top 5 batsmen all got starts and made sure that Windies reach a total that their bowlers could manage to defend. However, after getting such starts, one of their batsmen needs to convert it into a 3-figure mark in the final encounter of the series on Thursday. Who will that batsman be? Will we get to witness such knock by any of the West Indian batsmen?
Jason Holder at his best! Skipper’s 5-wicket haul at Antigua has kept West Indies alive in the hunt. An excellent bowling spell by Holder might have lifted everyone’s morale in that West Indies dressing room. Apart from his bowling, Holder is no mug with the bat. Hence, the hosts need their skipper to chip in with an all-round performance in the ultimate match of the ODI series.
West Indies: Weaknesses
Failure to get big scores! Baring that knock of 81 by Shai Hope in the second ODI, there hasn’t been a single impressive knock played by any of the West Indian batsman since then. Yes, they have got starts here and there but their inability to convert these starts is the real thing to worry about. West Indian batsmen have one last chance to prove their mettle but can they make the most out of this opportunity? We’ll get to see that in the final match of the series at Kingston.
Not taking advantage of home conditions! Even though West Indies are playing at home, they are not able to make the most out of this home advantage. The bowlers have done their bit but it’s their batsmen who need to do the same. Having played in such conditions all their life, one of them needs to take charge and come up with a match winning knock on Thursday.
West Indies (Probable XI) – Evin Lewis, Kyle Hope, Shai Hope, Rovman Powell, Jason Mohammed, Roston Chase, Jason Holder (c), Ashley Nurse, Devendra Bishoo, Kesrick Williams, Alzarri Joseph.
Match prediction – Indian team is wounded after their loss in the previous encounter as the batsmen let the team down with a disappointing batting performance. As this is the final match of the series, you can expect these Indian batsmen come out all guns blazing. The previous encounter was a low scoring affair but you can expect the fifth and final match of the series to be a high scoring one. West Indies batsmen might put up a fight as well but Indian batsmen will do a notch better. Hence, team India is most likely to win this contest.
Possible winner – India