Following a staggering 224-run win in the fourth one-day international, India will look to seal the series when they face Windies in the fifth ODI at Thiruvananthapuram on November 1 (Thursday).
Meanwhile, with the top-order finally looking in good touch, the hosts will fancy their chances to win the fifth fixture. Virat Kohli has been in scintillating as he became the first Indian to score three consecutive hundreds. Rohit Sharma, his deputy, has had a fruitful series as well. The Indian opener, who did not have an ODI century against the Windies before this series, now has two. Furthermore, Ambati Rayudu has also solved India’s no 4 worries with the World Cup in sight.
India’s premier pacers, Jasprit Bumrah, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar have picked up right where they left off before the Asia Cup. They got back in the squad for the last three ODIs, and have looked reliable. The spinners, of course, have been outstanding.
However, the lower middle-order still remains a problem for India with MS Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja not coming handy off late. However, they will have to raise their game to have a fitting finish to this series.
On the other hand, Windies have improved significantly since their poor outing in the Test series. They will aim to put a spirited performance and finish the series on even stevens. Shai Hope has been pivotal for the visitors as his patient knocks helped Windies clinch a tie and a win.
Shimron Hetymer has also been integral to the strong performances from the Windies in the first three ODIs. He notched up his third ODI hundred in the first game before adding 94 in the next game. He will be an important player for the visitors going into the final ODI. The rest of them needs to buckle up and produce better efforts in the last outing.
Virat Kohli (India): The Indian skipper has hammered records for fun in this series and looks in his prime touch. He has registered three centuries in as many ODIs before getting out on 16 in the previous game in Mumbai. Virat Kohli will want to finish things off with another big score to his name.
Shai Hope (Windies): The best Windies batsman struggled to produce his best game in the Test series. However, he has more than made up for it in the one-day internationals. With 250 runs in four innings, he’s the third-highest run-scorer of the series behind Kohli and Rohit Sharma. He will be the key for the visitors as they aim to level the series in Thiruvananthapuram.
India had left out one of their gun bowlers Yuzvendra Chahal for batting insurance in Jadeja in the absence of the injured Pandya in the previous game. They might stick with the same combination, considering Dhoni’s form – or the lack of it.
Predicted XI: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (c), Ambati Rayudu, Kedar Jadhav, MS Dhoni (wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Khaleel Ahmed, Kuldeep Yadav, Jasprit Bumrah
The visitors can do some permutation combinations before taking the field for the last ODI fixture. They can bring in dashing Sunil Ambris in place of out-of-form Keiron Powell and Chandrapaul Hemraj. Furthermore, they can slot in experienced Devendra Bishoo in place of Fabien Allen.
Predicted XI: Sunil Ambris, Kieran Powell, Shai Hope (wk), Shimron Hetmeyer, Marlon Samuels, Rovman Powell, Jason Holder (c), Ashley Nurse, Keemo Paul, Devendra Bishoo, Kemar Roach
In conclusion, it is highly likely that India will win the match to finish the series at 2-1.