WEST INDIES: India is about to sweep the West Indies in the second consecutive one-day international series. This Indian team lacks several key players, including Jasprit Bumrah, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, and Rohit Sharma. India hasn’t missed Bhuvneshwar Kumar or Bumrah because of Mohammed Siraj’s efficient bowling and Shardul Thakur’s aptitude for getting wickets.
Axar Patel’s heroics in the second ODI made sure they pulled off a record chase at the Queen’s Park Oval to seal their third consecutive ODI series win. Siraj’s accuracy in the final over denied West Indies in the first ODI.
Almost everything has gone smoothly, although India may still need to work on their batting during the middle overs. In the second ODI, India scored 170 runs but also lost five wickets from overs 11 to 40. They achieved 175 for 4 in the same phase during the first game.
India has lost 46 wickets in 11 ODIs this year, or 4.18 wickets per innings, on average, in the middle overs. Among Full-Member teams, only the West Indies (5.29), Australia (5.25), and Zimbabwe (5.0) have performed worse than them. More runs from Suryakumar Yadav and Deepak Hooda, who haven’t performed to their full capacity in this series, might help India’s game in this area.
Despite things not going their way thus far, West Indies haven’t performed poorly either. They have kept India in check by frequently striking in the middle overs, and their batters have amassed two consecutive 300-plus totals.
They could want to take a closer look at their death bowling, mainly how they employed Romario Shepherd at that time. On Sunday, he bowled the 42nd and 47th overs of India’s chase and allowed 27 runs in those two overs. The punishment he received wasn’t a one-time thing. Shepherd (10.28) has the lowest economy rate of all bowlers who have bowled at least 60 balls in the last ten overs this year. Furthermore, in his seven innings, he has only taken three wickets.
Shepherd may need to work on this aspect of his game if he wants to preserve his spot in the starting XI with Keemo Paul and Jason Holder – who missed the first two ODIs after testing positive for Covid-19 – breathing down his neck.
Players to watch out
Alzarri Joseph – He has achieved an economy rate of 5.35 while also taking four wickets, despite India hitting over 300 in each of the first two ODIs. He has taken up a leadership position in Holder’s absence, frequently stepping in from deep third to advise Jayden Seales during the second ODI.
In the first ODI, he was pricey with the new ball, giving up 29 runs in his first three overs, but he recovered brilliantly to help West Indies contain India later on, bowling both Axar and Hooda in the 49th over. He gave out just 14 runs off his first three overs in the next game because of tighter lines and more restraint in his first delivery. Joseph must keep up his outstanding form if West Indies snap their string of eight straight ODI losses.
Suryakumar Yadav – He inside-edged the ball onto his stumps on Sunday for the third time in his previous four ODI innings. While Akeal Hosein and Kyle Mayers had beaten him in this series, Reece Topley had him playing on at Lord’s earlier this month. He has only reached 20 once in his five ODI innings, so this run of dismissals has coincided with a bit of a dry spell in the format. On Wednesday, is he able to break this pattern?
For the final ODI, Jason Holder is healthy and eligible for selection. Young Keacy Carty and Keemo Paul, who have been deemed fit, may receive screen time now that the series is over.
West Indies: (Probable XI): 1 Shai Hope (wk), 2 Kyle Mayers, 3 Shamarh Brooks/Keacy Carty, 4 Brandon King, 5 Nicholas Pooran (capt), 6 Rovman Powell, 7 Akeal Hosein, 8 Romario Shepherd/Jason Holder, 9 Alzarri Joseph, 10 Jayden Seales/Keemo Paul, 11 Hayden Walsh.
Prasidh Krishna could return to India, perhaps taking the position of Mohammed Siraj or Avesh Khan. According to a BCCI press release, Ravindra
Jadeja’s knee ailment prevented him from playing in the first two ODIs. Axar might be forced to move aside even though he scored the match-winning half-century on Sunday if India decides to play two left-arm spinners instead of Yuzvendra Chahal, who is also not in the team for the T20I series. India may choose to try out players like Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan, or Arshdeep Singh now that the series is officially in the bag.
India (Probable XI): 1 Shikhar Dhawan (capt), 2 Shubman Gill, 3 Shreyas Iyer, 4 Suryakumar Yadav, 5 Sanju Samson (wk), 6 Deepak Hooda, 7 Axar Patel/Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Shardul Thakur, 9 Mohammed Siraj, 10 Yuzvendra Chahal, 11 Avesh Khan/Prasidh Krishna.