North Sound (Antigua): India will aim to grab an unassailable 3-0 lead when they take on West Indies in the fourth match of the ongoing five-ODI series at the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium here on Sunday.
Although the opening game of the series was washed out, the Indians have comprehensively dominated the subsequent two One-Day Internationals (ODI) to take a 2-0 lead.
The visitors won the second ODI in Port of Spain by a huge 105-run margin before scripting a 93-run victory at this venue on Friday.
The difference in quality between third ranked India and the hosts who are at a lowly ninth in the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) ODI ladder was quite clear.
The Indians have not really performed at their optimal level so far. Their batting has not managed to generate good starts and the middle-overs have not been too great either.
However, the experiment to promote Kedar Jadhav up the order paid off in the second ODI as he smashed 40 runs off 26 balls to help India to a respectable total of 251/4 in their allotted 50 overs.
The 32-year-old gave excellent support to the veteran Mahendra Singh Dhoni who showed glimpses of his vintage hard hitting self to give the Indian innings a much needed momentum towards the end.
Opener Ajinkya Rahane has also been in excellent form, notching up a century in the second match before coming up with a patient half-century to help the visitors recover from a poor start on Friday.
However, the level of application from the other batsmen has been poor at times.
The Indian bowlers have performed satisfactorily, specially fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar and left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav.
The West Indies on the other hand, have struggled quite a bit. Despite playing in their home conditions, the hosts have not been up to the mark in both batting and bowling.
The lack of experience in the young squad led by pacer Jason Holder is one of the factors responsible for the poor performance by the hosts.
However, they have nothing to lose and good performances in the remaining couple of matches in this series will give them some much needed confidence as they seek to qualify for the 2019 ODI World Cup.
West Indies: Jason Holder (captain), Sunil Ambris, Devendra Bishoo, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Kyle Hope, Shai Hope (wicket-keeper), Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Ashley Nurse, Kieran Powell, Rovman Powell.
India: Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wicket-keeper), Hardik Pandya, Kedar Jadhav, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Umesh Yadav. (IANS)