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Ind vs WI, Match Preview: Injury-hit India aim to topple WI in ODIs

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Chennai: After earning a hard-fought series win in the T20Is, Team India will now want to take that form in the ODIs when they face West Indies in the first match of the three-game rubber to be played at the MA Chidambaram Stadium on Sunday.

West Indies gave a glimpse of its power-packed performance in the three T20Is and the Indian team will be cautious in their approach, especially considering they will without their two main players in the ODIs.

Both Shikhar Dhawan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have been ruled out of the series because of their respective injuries. Dhawan, who hurt his knee during the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy recently, has been replaced by Mayank Agarwal while Shardul Thakur has been named as replacement for Kumar who suffered from a groin injury in the final T20I at the Wankhede.

However, despite the injuries, the Men in Blue will be confident of coming through unscathed, especially in home conditions. Captain Virat Kohli will have some tough calls to make when he will decide about the playing XI.

It will be interesting to see whether the hosts play the spin duo of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal considering the slowness of the Chennai pitch.

“We were looking at an ideal combination which gives absolute balance to the team,” India bowling coach Bharat Arun had said on Friday.

“Also there was an option, where we could use Jadeja as an all-rounder. So that really helped us and yes, there may be occasions when there are conducive conditions both can be playing together. But we will have to look at the overall balance before we decide the team,” he added.

For West Indies, ODIs will provide them with the opportunity of taking in the T20 form and give a tough fight to the Indians. However, in the ODIs, the West Indies team haven’t had the greatest of runs in the last few years and have gone without a win in 16 bilateral ODI series since August 2014.

In fact, the drawn series against England at home earlier this year remains to be their lone highlight. However, they would carry their confidence from the 3-0 sweep of Afghanistan last month.

One big positive for the visitors would be the return of their top-ranked batsman Shai Hope.

The head-to-head count between India and West Indies in ODIs stands currently at 62 wins each, but the gulf between the two sides has progressively widened in the last decade or so and the Indian team would like to increase that further.

The two teams last met in ODIs in the Caribbean Islands where India won the three-match series 2-0 as one of the matches got washed out.

Squads:

India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Mayank Agarwal, KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant, Shivam Dube, Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Deepak Chahar, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur

West Indies: Sunil Ambris, Shai Hope, Khary Pierre, Roston Chase, Alzarri Joseph, Kieron Pollard (C), Sheldon Cottrell, Brandon King, Nicholas Pooran, Shimron Hetmyer, Evin Lewis, Romario Shepherd, Jason Holder, Keemo Paul, Hayden Walsh Jr.

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Nail-biter on card as India face Australia in Bengaluru

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Bengaluru: There could not have been a better ending to the three-match ODI series between the top two teams in world cricket at the moment. While Australia triumphed emphatically in Mumbai, it was India who roared back in Rajkot. And now, both the teams would be looking to deliver the final punch when they lock horns in the series decider at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium on Sunday.

The three-match series was billed as a showdown between two heavyweights and it has lived up to that. Both the teams have been able to showcase why they are best in the business in the present times.

In the first ODI at Wankhede, Australia simply overpowered Team India, winning the match by 10 wickets. Aaron Finch and David Warner scored unbeaten centuries as they chased down the total of 255 with utmost ease. The defeat not only hurt the Indian team badly, but it also made them re-think their strategy and what augurs best for the team.

In Rajkot, the team stopped their contentious experimentation with their top three and it did wonders for them. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan scored, Virat Kohli returned to his favourite no. 3 spot and scored. But the biggest plus for the team was K.L. Rahul’s adaptability which meant the Karnataka batsman also found success at his new No.5 spot.

The Indian bowling too bounced back from the thrashing they received in Mumbai. Jasprit Bumrah was back at his accurate best and, in the company of Mohammed Shami and Navdeep Saini, shut the doors on a late fightback by unfurling a series of yorkers. Spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Ravindra Jadeja were able to pick wickets even though they did concede runs in what was a high-scoring match at the SCA.

Going into the finale, Australia might be tempted to make changes, especially in their bowling department which conceded 340 runs on a placid Rajkot wicket. However, one of the most worrying things for the visitors would be the performance of Mitchell Starc who was taken to the task by the Indian batters in the second ODI.

Thus, Finch would like his main strike bowler to come back to his usual best in Bengaluru.

As far as Team India is concerned, changes are unlikely and can only be forced due to the injuries of Dhawan and Rohit. Dhawan was struck on the ribs while batting and did not field, and Rohit went down clutching his left shoulder after diving to save a boundary in the deep.

However, but both batsmen appear to be on track for a full recovery, while Rishabh Pant, too, should be back from the head blow that kept him out in Rajkot. But keeping in mind how Rahul performed behind the wickets in Rajkot as well with the bat, one doesn’t see Pant featuring in the playing XI in the decider.

Chinnaswamy has been a favoured hunting ground for the visitors, who have won each of their last three games at this venue and would thus like to keep the trend going. The Men in Blue, on the other hand, would like to replicate the performance in Rajkot and avoid what can be their second straight home series-defeat against the Aussies.

Squads: India: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), Rishabh Pant (wk), Jasprit Bumrah, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shikhar Dhawan, Shivam Dube, Shreyas Iyer, Ravindra Jadeja, Kedar Jadhav, Manish Pandey, KL Rahul, Navdeep Saini, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav

Australia: Aaron Finch (c), Alex Carey (vc & wk), Pat Cummins (vc), Ashton Agar, Peter Handscomb, Josh Hazlewood, Marnus Labuschagne, Kane Richardson, D’Arcy Short, Steve Smith, Mitchell Starc, Ashton Turner, David Warner, Adam Zampa

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