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India vs West Indies, 3rd ODI Preview: High-Scoring Final On The Cards in Cuttack

The India vs West Indies series is level at 1-1 after India beat the Windies in the second game in Visakhapatnam by 107 runs. Rohit Sharma (159) and KL Rahul (102) struck centuries to power India to 387. Kuldeep Yadav then took his second ODI hat-trick to help India win the game and draw level in the series. With the series nicely poised, the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack is ready to stage the decider on Sunday.

India played their perfect game in the second ODI with their batters scoring the runs and their bowlers doing their best to bowl the opposition out. The Indian top-order once again proved as to why it is being counted as the best in the world at the moment. With Shikhar Dhawan missing from the series and Virat Kohli scoring a rare golden duck, India still managed to put a mammoth total on the board. Rohit Sharma is growing from strength to strength in his career and so is KL Rahul. They have formed a formidable opening pair in the series so far and would like to end on a high. With 195 runs in the series so far, Rohit is the highest run-getter in the series. He would be looking to extend his tally when he takes the field on Sunday. Rahul has scored 108 runs from two games averaging 54.

Also Read: India vs West Indies, 1st ODI: Windies T20 Temperament to be Tested in ODIs

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The Indian middle-order has also been in good form in the current series. Rishabh Pant’s return to form has been the biggest takeaway for India in this series. He has scores of 71 and a quickfire 39 to show for in the series so far. Shreyas Iyer also has strengthened his position at number four. He has scores of 70 and 53 in the first two games and would want to keep his form going. In addition to the two, Kedar Jadhav also has contributed with the bat. The good form of the Indian middle-order keeps them well prepared for the World T20 next year in Australia in this experimental phase.

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As far as India’s bowling outfit is concerned, Deepak Chahar will miss the decider owing to pain in his lower back. The BCCI in a media release stated that he picked up this injury in the second ODI itself and therefore this is more of a precautionary change. Navdeep Saini has been announced as his replacement for the game. Mohammad Shami, Kuldeep Yadav will keep their places in the XI. Ravindra Jadeja hasn’t done much with the ball in this series and the management might think of replacing him with Yuzvendra Chahal for the decider. Saini and Chahal are the only two changes in the bowling attack that the management can make heading into the final game. While Saini is a forced change, Chahal is more tactical. Kuldeep and Chahal playing together on a spinning track will be the ideal spinning combination with both of them unique and effective in their own way.

Also Read: Shivam Dube: A Complete Misfit in the Current Scheme of Things For Team India

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The Windies too have a few areas to cover heading into the decider. Their batting order looks settled with Shai Hope and Shimron Hetmyer being their main strike force. Evin Lewis, Nicholas Pooran and Kieron Pollard provide the firepower about which the Indian team is well aware of. Their batting lineup is unlikely to see any changes in the final game while their bowling attack needs some.

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Sheldon Cottrell and Jason Holder will lead the bowling attack. Hayden Walsh, whose omission from the playing XI in the last game raised quite a few eyebrows is expected to make a comeback in the game. He along with Kharry Pierre should be the two frontline spinners, Windies must go with. Roston Chase with his part-time off-spin gives them another option. Young pacer Alzarri Joseph who was expensive in the last game going for an economy of over seven might make his way for Walsh. This again should be a tactical change for the Windies who are aiming for their first ODI series win in India since 2002.

The pitch at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack has over the years assisted good spin bowling and thus both the teams should head into the game with the ‘spin to win’ formulae. Good for batting, the pitch assists spinners with the ball having a tendency to keep low every now and then. Bowlers will be seen bowling more of cutters and slower-balls which comes slow onto the bat.

Also Read: India vs West Indies: 1st T20I Preview: Teams Renew Old Rivalry

Chasing has been the norm to win so far in the tournament and with both teams having power-hitters in their team, chasing will be the thumb rule to win the final game as well. Going by what has transpired in the series so far, another high-scoring match is on the cards.

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