India face upbeat West Indies

  • west indies-india odi series
- Agencies, Kingston (Jamaica)

Jul 6, 2017-

After a shocking defeat in the fourth match, India will be eager for revenge and finish the series with a victory when they take on West Indies in their fifth and final clash here on Thursday.

India lost by 11 runs in North Sound, Antigua, after some extremely slow batting while chasing a low target of 190 runs. That loss took some of the gloss off India’s dominating performances in the previous matches of the series which they lead 2-1. The first match of the series was washed out.

Mahendra Singh Dhoni racked up a dubious distinction of scoring the slowest half-century by an Indian batsman in more than a decade with a painstaking, snail-like innings of 54 runs which included a single boundary over 114 deliveries. Known for his hard-hitting and his ability to chase down challenging targets, Dhoni will be eager to produce another trademark high tempo innings and redeem himself.

Opener Ajinkya Rahane was the only other Indian batsman who managed to stand up to the West Indies bowlers with a patient innings of 60 runs off 91 deliveries. Seemingly cruising to a comfortable victory with 31 runs needed in the last five overs and five wickets in hand, India suffered a spectacular lower-order batting collapse. The visitors were eventually all out for 178 in reply to the West Indies 189-9.

In sharp contrast to the batsmen, the Indian bowlers have been consistent during this series. Paceman Bhuvneshwar Kumar did well in the second and third ODI before being replaced by Mohammed Shami in the fourth game. Although Shami did not take any wickets, he was economical conceding  just 33 runs in 10 overs. Other pacemen Umesh Yadav and Hardik Pandya are also in good form. They need to produce another consistent performance in order to ensure that India close off the series on a positive note.

The West Indies will be in an upbeat mood. Thoroughly outplayed in the previous matches, the hosts finally managed to find some reason to be cheerful. West Indies skipper Jason Holder led from the front in the fourth match with a five-wicket haul and the hosts will be expecting him to deliver a similar performance. Fellow paceman Alzarri Joseph picked up two wickets in the second ODI but was expensive which prompted the hosts to drop him from the third match. But he return in the last game with another two-wicket haul.

The West Indies, however, need to do better in the batting department. 

Published: 06-07-2017 08:50

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