The Indian batsmen were in their elements as they repaid West Indies in kind in the second ODI to level the three-match series 1-1. The caravan will now move to its final showdown at Barabati Stadium, in Cuttack.
India and West Indies have met each other 132 times in the 50-over format. Both sides have won equal number of encounters - 63 - while two games ended in a tie. The remaining four matches offered no result.
In the last five ODIs, India have a 3-1 lead to West Indies, with one game being abandoned. The last five encounters in India too have the hosts ahead with a 3-2 lead.
Ground Details and Team Combination:
The Barabati Stadium will be hosting its first ODI since January 2017, a high scoring affair between India and England. The match saw scores in excess of 350 amassed by both sides and a similar surface can be expected come Sunday. Even in List A matches since the start of 2017, the average first innings score here is a high 284 while the average winning score here is 311. So, packing your side with top-order batsmen should be imperative.
On the bowling front, pacers have been the dominant entity at this venue since January 2017. Out of the 126 wickets to fall here in List-A cricket during the time frame, fast bowlers have returned 83 wickets striking every 30.2 balls while spinners have returned 43 wickets at a strike-rate of 42.9.
Among all bowler types, right-arm pacers have ruled the roost here. They have the most wickets to fall since January 2017 in List A cricket (75) and the best strike-rate, that of 30.1. Left-arm Pacers and Off-spinners are not too far behind on this list too. Someone like Mohammad Shami could well prove to be effective here while the likes of Sheldon Cottrell and Navdeep Saini too could leave a mark.
A combination of six frontline batsmen including the wicket-keeper, one batting all-rounder, one spinner and three fast bowlers could be the way to go for this ODI.
Cuttack has hosted only three ODI games this decade with the last one being played in 2017. Considering the stats of the List-A games played at the venue, spinners have struggled to create an impact here.
Rohit Sharma has been in the form of his life this year and does not look like stopping anytime soon. He is the highest run-scorer in the 50-over format in 2019 with 1427 runs in 26 innings at an average of 57.08 which includes seven tons. After a failure in Chennai, Rohit came back strongly in Vizag smashing his way to 159. He averages a strong 60+ against West Indies while his average in Cuttack in ODs reads 80. He is the top run getter in the 50-over format this year and will want to end this year that way.
KL Rahul has not been listening to his critics, as he pointed out in Visakhapatnam and rightly so. He soared back to form in the second with a clinical century and on a surface which is tailor-made for free-flowing batsmanship, Rahul should fancy his chances again. Regardless of whatever has been said and written, Rahul’s 2019 hasn’t been as bas as people are suggesting. In 12 innings this year, he still averages a fair 45 with 2 half-centuries and 2 centuries. He s susceptible to the moving ball early on his innings and if Rahul can surpass that phase, another century might once again be in the offing for the opener.
Shai Hope has been terrific all year in which he has scored 1,303 runs at an average of 62.05. Hope’s steady century in the first ODI was a key reason behind West Indies’ win. He followed it up with another half-century in Vizag and just looks in imperious touch. Hope loves facing the Indian attack as his average of 54.25 suggests. Though his strike-rate is on the lower side, he’s been the mainstay of West Indies’ batting this year and will want to continue his excellent run in Cuttack as well.
Virat Kohli has failed on two successive occasions and as rare an occurrence it is; this is where Kohli becomes doubly dangerous. He was dismissed for a golden duck in the second ODI and will be hurting, which is never good news for the opposition. He is the third-highest run-scorer in ODIs this year, closely behind Hope and will want to topple him and possibly Rohit too at Cuttack.
There should not be much of a threat to the game as far as the weather is concerned. It is expected to be slightly cloudy throughout the day but chances of rain is minimal. The temperature is likely to hover around the mid 20-degree range.
Suggested FanFight Team:
KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma (c), Nicholas Pooran (wk), Virat Kohli (vc), Shimron Hetmyer, Shreyas Iyer, Kieron Pollard, Kuldeep Yadav, Keemo Paul, Sheldon Cottrell, Mohammed Shami