About the Match
The West Indies pulled off a magnificent win in the fourth ODI to leave themselves a chance of equalizing the series. India will need to look deep and possibly make some tough decisions as they start to identify the core that will be around in time for the next World Cup in 2 years time. The fifth and final ODI should be keenly contested and could another thriller.
At the halfway stage of the first inning, not too many people would have given the West Indies a chance of defending 189. Even lesser would have given Jason Holder the chance of leading them to victory with a five-wicket haul but that is exactly what happened.
A fascinating fight back led by the West Indian skipper and useful contributions from all the other bowlers has meant that India will have a lot to think about before the last ODI. Taking a look at the scorecard from the last game, one aspect stood out. Every single West Indian batsman got a start but did not make it count.
A total of 189 is just not going to be enough on most days against India and the home team would definitely want to build on the batting gains of the last match. Kyle Hope and Evan Lewis were both positive against the spinners, as were the batsmen the followed.
Some poor shot selection led to their downfall but the intentions behind the tactics were sound.
With the West Indian bowling finally coming good in the last match, a solid batting effort would put them a long way towards victory. Among the batsmen, we think Roston Chase has the necessary talent to score a big hundred along with Jason Mohammad, who is also performing below par but looking good at the crease while he is there.
A lot of questions are being raised about the utility of MS Dhoni in the team just a match after he was instrumental in winning India the 3rd
match of this series. In our opinion, Dhoni dug himself into a hole from which he normally escapes but was unable to do so this time. This is the peril of leaving it late and backing yourself to score 10-15 runs in the last over.
It is spectacular when it comes off but lambasted when it does not.
Dinesh Karthik also had a tough comeback into the Indian team as he was unable to rotate the strike and then ended up throwing away his wicket after scoring only two from nineteen deliveries. Rahane scored yet another fifty in the series and should have finished off the game but the slowing pitch was not suited to his style of game at all.
This Indian team had made a lot of changes to the winning combination swapping out Bhuvaneshwar Kumar for Mohammad Shami, Ashwin for Jadeja and Yuvraj Singh for Dinesh Karthik.
Will India continue to give their bench strength a chance in this crucial match or go back to what they believe is the strongest combination? There is also Rishabh Pant waiting in the wings but it is highly unlikely that he will get a game now.
To be honest, though the Indian bowling was up to the mark without being extraordinary and was once again led by the young Kuldeep Yadav. With 8 wickets from his first three matches on dead wickets, Yadav has definitely earned his place in the side for a long time to come.
We think that Ashwin and Bhuvaneshwar Kumar will return to the side but Dinesh Karthik will get another go in this match.
Pitch and Conditions
Another clear day has been forecast for the majority of the day but as is the case in these islands, rain is always around the corner. The last ODI played here was in 2014, a little over three years ago and so both teams will not know what to expect from the pitch.
We can hope for some pace, bounce, and life in the pitch but that may be asking for a bit too much.
India is going to come out with their best combination and should get the job done. Back India to win.
Winner: India, 1.61 @ Bet on India now