Another home triumph on cards
Thiruvananthapuram, Oct 31
India go into the final ODI on Thursday eyeing another home series triumph against West Indies, a far cry from the dominant force it was when the city last hosted a 50-over international three decades ago. A victory in the fifth and penultimate ODI will ensure India maintain their unbeaten run since the reversal against South Africa in 2015.
With the series being the first in the run-up to the 50-overs World Cup in England in June next year, the two sides are more or less aiming to zero in on the combination for the showpiece event. While Kohli and Rohit Sharma have been in superlative form, scoring three and two centuries, respectively, Ambati Rayudu, too, has made his presence felt. The rest of the batsmen haven’t quite had the impact they would have liked to. The flamboyant Shikhar Dhawan has not capitalised on the starts while veteran MS Dhoni has found runs hard to come by. Left out of the T20 squad for the upcoming series in Australia, the Jharkhand stumper will hope to make a contribution in front of the stumps, too, even though his work with the big gloves has been stupendous.
The return of Jasprit Bumrah has added teeth to the Indian attack, while the young Khaleel Ahmed showed he’s learning fast with an impressive spell at the Brabourne Stadium.