With the series levelled at 1-1, West Indies have a great chance to win an ODI series against India, a feat they haven't achieved for more than 13 years.
India v West Indies, 3rd ODI
Barabati Stadium, Cuttack
Sunday, 22 December; 1:30pm IST, 08:30am GMT
West Indies' last bilateral ODI series win against the Men in Blue dates back to May 2006, when they triumphed 4-1 in a five-match affair at home. In a bid to break that streak, West Indies secured a convincing eight-wicket win in the first ODI this series, but they went down in the second game due to indisciplined bowling and a lack of intensity in the field.
While the batting has shown marked improvement, largely revolving around the stabilising effect of Shai Hope, skipper Kieron Pollard will be well aware that one aspect alone will not be enough to trump the team ranked second in the MRF Tyres ICC Men's ODI Team Rankings.
For India too, batting has been a stronger suit, with Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant showing their mettle in the inexperienced middle order. The bowlers, however, have failed to make early breakthroughs and poor catching has been a matter of concern for skipper Kohli. With Cuttack expected to be another batting-friendly surface, India are likely to persist with five genuine bowling options in their playing XI.
Remember the last time:
KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma continued their fine run as an ODI pair in 2019, adding 227 in 37 overs to lay a solid platform. Kohli departed for a rare duck but late fireworks from Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer, that included a 31-run over from Roston Chase, powered India to 387/7.
The new leading ODI wicket-taker in 2019 💪 pic.twitter.com/PdeAPhi3ks— ICC (@ICC) December 18, 2019
The West Indies batsmen, aided by some sloppy catching, found themselves on course till the 29th over, with Nicholas Pooran unleashing stroke after stroke in company of Shai Hope. Mohammed Shami however, dented the progress, removing Pooran and Pollard off consecutive balls to trigger a collapse. Kuldeep Yadav joined the act and bagged his second ODI hat-trick as the visitors were eventually bundled out for 280 in the 44th over to give India a series-levelling 107-run win.
What they said:
Virat Kohli, India captain: "It is always good to see the team getting 40-50 extra than what you would've thought at the start of the game. I think it all boils down to the good foundation. Catching has been disappointing. It is not the representation of the kind of standards that we set. It's very important to maintain standards and live upto it. We are one of the best fielding sides in the world."
Kieron Pollard, West Indies captain: "There are some youngsters and there are some talented ones, I have spoken about them again and again. Nothing happens overnight, it's about putting the pieces of puzzle together, it's work in progress. We deserve to go out with a bang, our heads and shoulders are still high. We'll come back and fight hard."
It is expected to be sunny and warm in the afternoon but will get progressively cooler as the day goes along. Dew might make it difficult for spinners under the lights and another high-scoring affair can be expected. The last ODI played here in January 2017, saw as many as 747 runs being scored across two innings as England fell mere 15 short of India's 381/6.
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