The ODI series between West Indies and India concludes on Wednesday when the two sides meet for the third and final time, with this last game coming from the Queens Park Oval in Trinidad, the venue for the first two matches.
India have won a couple of extremely competitive and entertaining matches and will be looking to complete the whitewash here. There are five T20s to follow this last game so West Indies will be looking for a confidence boost to take into them.
When they went into this series people could be forgiven for fearing the worst for the West Indies but they have come out of the opening two matches wondering how neither went their way. There is a strong argument that they could have and should have won both the games but somehow with the winning in sight they took a detour and headed for the defeat lane. They have one last chance to get over the line in a 50 over match here.
I think this is a big match for West Indies. It is ok to lose to a team with the firepower India have, even if this isn’t their first choice XI, but a similar loss to the first two will have people wondering if they have forgotten how to win and that is never something a team likes to have aimed at them. West Indies have batted well in this series but haven’t quite been able to put India away in the last couple of overs of each contest.
When you consider the calibre of player India are resting for this series, for them to have won the opening two ODIs and lining up a sweep of them says a lot about the strength in depth that they have in this format of the game. Given that the next World Cup for 50 overs is in India that will get everyone back home about their chances of getting their hands on the trophy for the first time since 2011 as they won’t need to fear injuries to key men at the wrong time.
India haven’t controlled West Indies as much as they would have wanted with the ball in this series, but to be fair to them this West Indies batting in good conditions is very hard to contain or restrict. The positive is that without the likes of Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya, India have put two scores of over 300 on the board and different players have got them over the line in each match. It is a great position for them to be in.
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West Indies will be hoping that Jason Holder is fit enough to come into the side. Given his erratic bowling at the end of the innings in the previous match Alzarri Joseph could be rested here. Keemo Paul could come in if Holder isn’t fit.
India were hoping to have Ravi Jadeja back and will look to get a game into him before the T20s if he is fit to feature. Arshdeep Singh, Ruturak Gaikwad and Ishan Kishan are yet to feature in the series and that could be rectified in this match.
We’ve seen two high scoring matches in the first two games in this series and I expect us to conclude with another here. I say that because those who come into the sides will be eager to show their worth and any bowlers who need rested will probably get the rest they seek so we might see a couple of weakened attacks in this match. I’m not going to take the runs here though because these are the situations where a team can crumble in a heap late on in an innings.
Instead I’ll go with over 14.5 sixes. We’ve seen by now that the Queens Park Oval doesn’t have the biggest boundaries going around and we’ve also seen that the pitches are playing well for the batters. I don’t expect that to change here and if they move to a fresh pitch it might even open up a short boundary to one side. There is no shortage of six hitting potential in these two sides with both of them having hitters all the way down to at least seven and potentially even eight. Everything looks fair for another six fest here to go with the 18 and 22 we’ve seen so far.
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