India look to respond to wake-up call

Match details

Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai
October 29, Monday; 13:30 IST
Live on Star Sports, streaming on Hotstar

The main picture

Somewhat ironically, India lost on a day when they had fielded a near-full-strength playing XI, premier fast bowlers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah coming straight back in after being rested for the first two ODIs. West Indies beating a near-full-strength Indian side, by a sizeable margin too, is proof of the quality and potential in their ranks.

India’s batting failure was central to the 43-run defeat in Pune, allowing the visitor to draw level in the five-match series with two matches left to play. The decision to leave Ravindra Jadeja out of the XI—the 29-year-old from Saurashtra can provide runs batting at No. 8 in addition to his fast left-arm spin—didn’t help India’s cause after being set a target of 284 by a resurgent West Indies.

In the post-match interview on Saturday, Kohli confirmed that Kedar Jadhav, who has been named in the Indian squad for the final two ODIs, will return to the playing XI for the fourth ODI, potentially lending India the coveted balance with his batting and unorthodox bowling. The question, however, is who will make way for Maharashtra batsman?

India’s bowling, which is a new-found strength of late, has not been sharp in the three ODIs so far. While Kuldeep Yadav continues to confound the West Indies batsmen with his variations and has five wickets in two matches, the seamers have struggled for consistency in line and length and faltered in the face of aggressive batting from Shimron Hetmyer and Shai Hope.

India must up their overall game before the fourth ODI—having had one batting failure and the bowling attack yet to fire—to confront the challenge posed by a resurgent, dangerous Windies ODI team.

From West Indies’ perspective, they will be particularly encouraged by the lower order, comprising Ashley Nurse and Kemar Roach, proving their ability to score runs at the back end of the innings. Nurse made a crucial 40 in Pune, adding 66 runs for the final two wickets after his team had been reduced to 217/7. Roach has also played a couple of crucial knocks to help West Indies bat out the overs in Guwahati and Pune.

If Jason Holder starts as sharply with the ball as he did in the third ODI and Nurse continues to strangle the Indian batsmen with his disciplined off-spin through the middle overs, West Indies can contain and cause problems for an Indian batting line-up which is quite top-heavy.

About Brabourne Stadium and weather forecast

The fourth ODI between India and West Indies was originally scheduled to be played at Wankhede Stadium but was forced to be shifted out because of the Mumbai Cricket Association’s inability to issue tenders to vendors for the ODI. The Brabourne Stadium last hosted an international match in 2009 and the last ODI at this venue was played in 2006, when Australia and the West Indies faced off in that year’s Champions Trophy final.

The forecast is for a sunny day with a high of 37 degree Celsius.

India vs West Indies 4th ODI playing 11

Possible India playing XI: 1 Virat Kohli (c), 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Shikhar Dhawan, 4 Ambati Rayudu, 5 MS Dhoni (wk), 6 Rishabh Pant/Kedar Jadhav, 7 Ravindra Jadeja/Khaleel Ahmed, 8 Yuzvendra Chahal, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Kuldeep Yadav, 11 Jasprit Bumrah

Possible Windies playing 11: 1 Jason Holder (c), 2 Kieran Powell, 3 Shai Hope (wk), 4 Marlon Samuels, 5 Shimron Hetmyer, 6 Rovman Powell, 7 Chandrapaul Hemraj, 8 Ashley Nurse, 9 Kemar Roach, 10 Obed McCoy, 11 Fabian Allen

Match prediction

Marlon Samuels said in the post-match interview after bowling his team to a win in the third ODI, that West Indies are not looking to “compete anymore” but are “looking to win”, which is a significant shift in mindset and indicates a positive feeling in the camp. The batting, led by Hetmyer and Hope, has come good in all the three matches so far and the bowling attack came good in the third ODI to help level the series. With India not playing their best cricket, the West Indies have a chance to take control of the series with a win in Mumbai, provided they play as well as they did in Pune across all three departments.

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