MCA Stadium, Pune
October 27, Saturday; 13:30 IST
Live on Star Sports, streaming on Hotstar
The main picture
Going by their performances in the first two ODIs, the West Indies batsmen have benefited hugely from having the license to express themselves and play with their usual flair. Granted, the quality of India’s bowling in the ODIs has been lesser compared to the Test series—and the pitches have been batsmen-friendly, too—but the stark difference has been the freedom the likes of Shimron Hetmyer, Kieran Powell and Shai Hope have had to play their natural game and how they have flourished as a result. Nine of the 17 West Indies wickets have been taken by the Indian spinners, who have, however, not troubled the West Indies batsmen to the extent they had in the Test series.
The West Indies batsmen, though, will face their biggest test of the ODI series in Pune, where India’s bowling attack will be bolstered by the returning Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah. The batting line-ups have led the way so far for both the teams, but India, with the return of Bhuvneshwar and Bumrah, now have the firepower in their bowling attack to complement their strong batting line-up.
West Indies need their bowlers to raise their game too, for the result could well hinge on which bowling attack fares better. West Indies need Jason Holder and Devendra Bishoo, in particular, to be more disciplined with their line and length. Marlon Samuels has not fired with the bat so far and his failures may prompt the team management to think about Fabian Allen, a batting all-rounder who has done well for St Kitts and Nevis Patriots and Windies B in different T20 competitions recently.
MCA Stadium pitch report and weather forecast
The pitch at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune has usually been a good one for batting, with three scores of 300 or more (two of those totals came in one ODI between India and England in January 2017) made in three matches. It’s also a venue with a considerably smaller boundary, meaning another high-scoring match won’t be a surprise.
The forecast says that Saturday will be largely sunny with a high of 34 degrees Celsius.
India vs West Indies playing 11 for 3rd ODI
Possible India playing XI: 1 Virat Kohli (c), 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Shikhar Dhawan, 4 Ambati Rayudu, 5 MS Dhoni (wk), 6 Rishabh Pant, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Yuzvendra Chahal, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Kuldeep Yadav, 11 Jasprit Bumrah
Windies playing 11: 1 Jason Holder (c), 2 Kieran Powell, 3 Shai Hope (WK), 4 Marlon Samuels/Fabian Allen, 5 Shimron Hetmyer, 6 Rovman Powell, 7 Chandrapaul Hemraj, 8 Ashley Nurse, 9 Kemar Roach, 10 Oshane Thomas, 11 Devendra Bishoo
West Indies will take plenty of confidence into the third ODI, after two sublime batting performances. But they need their bowlers to come good to have a chance of tasting their first success on the tour.