India wouldn’t have expected to go into the final ODI at Kanpur with the series against West Indies tied 1-1. But, there have only themselves to blame for the situation they find themselves in. Agreed, the dew made the target also impossible to defend for India in the second ODI. Still, one must say that it was the batting that cost them the match. As a result of the loss, India are now under extreme pressure going into the decider. At the same time, West Indies would be buoyed, and will be sniffing a shock upset.
For India to do well at Kanpur, the mantra is very simple. The batsmen will need to stand up and rise to the occasion. Of course the bowlers too will be expected to play a greater role since there will be no dew factor as the third ODI on Wednesday is a day affair. But, a lot more will definitely will be expected of the batsmen. Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli have been in exceptional form, and while India will hope they continue their magnificent run, it will be unfair to expect them to get the runs on each and every occasion.
If the duo of Rohit and Kohli stands up again, victory should be all but assured for India, but in case the law of averages catches up with them, the others should be prepared to stand up as well. We shouldn’t forget the other opener Shikhar Dhawan, who has had a magnificent time of late. However, in his last few innings, he has developed a tendency to get a start and then get out. Dhawan must look to get out of this habit he is getting into as soon as possible else he might end up wasting his amazing form.
As it has been in recent times, the match will be crucial for the out of form Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina. With the tough series in South Africa coming up, India would need two of their best ODI players in form. Both the left-handers got starts in the previous game, but failed to convert the same. India would be keen for the two to make some decent contributions with the bat at Kanpur. Meanwhile, even as Ravindra Jadeja’s bowling goes from strength to strength, his batting continues to be a worry. He got stuck at one end at Visakhapatnam, leaving Dhoni with too much to do.
One cannot place too much blame on India’s bowlers for the loss in the previous game. In fact considering the amount of dew on the field, they performed credibly well to take the game into the last over, Everyone from Bhuvneshwar Kumar to Mohammed Shami and the spinners Ashwin and Jadeja managed to create an impression. They would be expected to be a lot more potent at Kanpur. In spite of the reversal in the previous game, India would still feel they can pull off a win at Kanpur. West Indies, on the other hand, will go with the knowledge that India aren’t invincible.
--By A Cricket Analyst