India hope their experiments work in series decider against West Indies

India, who have not lost an ODI series to West Indies since 2006, face a rare series defeat after their move to rest skipper Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli backfired in the second game in Barbados.
Players of India celebrates the dismissal LBW of West Indies' Brandon King during the second ODI cricket match at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados.(Photo | AP)
Players of India celebrates the dismissal LBW of West Indies' Brandon King during the second ODI cricket match at Kensington Oval in Bridgetown, Barbados.(Photo | AP)

TAROUBA: India will be hoping the experiment of trying out Sanju Samson and Surykumar Yadav in the middle-order works when they take on the West Indies in the ODI series decider here on Tuesday.

India, who have not lost an ODI series to West Indies since 2006, face a rare series defeat after their move to rest skipper Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli backfired in the second game in Barbados.

As head coach Rahul Dravid pointed after the six-wicket loss on Saturday, India are looking at the bigger picture ahead of next month's Asia Cup and the upcoming World Cup will have another game to see the kind of impact the younger players can make in a must-win match.

"We will always look at the bigger picture. At this stage in the cycle, the Asia Cup and World Cup coming up we have to look at the bigger picture because of some of the injuries we have. We can't get worried about every single game, every single series, if we do that it will be a mistake," Dravid asserted on Saturday.

Suryakumar, who is struggling to make his all-round game work in the 50-over format, will be looking to bat long and make a match-winning contribution.

For someone like Samson, who has made umpteen comebacks but has not been able to make it count, the series decider presents a golden opportunity.

He is likely to bat at number three like he did in the second ODI.

Opener Ishan Kishan has been impressive with the bat since the Test series but Shubman Gill is due for a big one after a quiet tour of West Indies thus far.

Hardik Pandya, who opened the bowling in the first two games, is gradually building up his workload.

With the bat, he has been far from his best and would be looking to get some runs under his belt before the five-match T20 series against the West Indies.

In the bowling department, tearaway fast bowler Umran Malik has a point to prove after going wicketless so far in the series.

His pace surely provides India the X factor but he needs to improve on the skill and accuracy front.

Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav has been India's stand out bowler, leaving no room in the side for his good friend Yuzvendra Chahal, who is likely to be seen in action only in the following T20 series.

West Indies have little to lose and a series win over India will be a much-needed shot in the arm after their failure to qualify for the ODI World Cup later this year.

Their bowlers have given Indian batters a hard time.

Left-arm spinner Gudakesh Motie has got the ball to turn sharply and pacer Romario Shepherd has used the short ball to good effect.

"The guys are going to come hard again. We keep speaking about the attitude, and today we displayed that. We need to replicate that and need to be more consistent with the bat and ball," said skipper Shai Hope, who will be high on confidence after an unbeaten 63 in the second ODI.

The Teams (From): West Indies: Shai Hope (captain), Rovman Powell (vice-captain), Alick Athanaze, Yannic Cariah, Keacy Carty, Dominic Drakes, Shimron Hetmyer, Alzarri Joseph, Brandon King, Kyle Mayers, Gudakesh Motie, Jayden Seales, Romario Shepherd, Kevin Sinclair, Oshane Thomas.

India: Rohit Sharma (captain), Shubman Gill, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Virat Kohli, Surya Kumar Yadav, Sanju Samson (wicket-keeper), Ishan Kishan (wicket-keeper), Hardik Pandya (vice-captain), Shardul Thakur, Ravindra Jadeja, Axar Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Jaydev Unadkat, Umran Malik, Mukesh Kumar.

Match starts at 7 PM IST.

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