India vs West Indies, 3rd ODI Match Prediction & Betting Tips
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I love cricket. That's what an art installation, similar to the famous 'Love Mumbai' sign in Bandra, reads outside the Barabati Stadium. There are more such signs around, one of them right by the practice nets, and all of them probably working to distinguish cricket from the many sports that seem to have taken over Cuttack lately. There's been no international cricket here for two years after all. And the Odisha Cricket Betting Tips Association, which shares the campus with the Odisha Olympic Association and its tertiaries, could do as little as put up art installations to remind people of what they have missed. Cuttack's time under the sun has come.
Whether the same could be said of West Indies is what this third and final ODI is going to be about. They were tied at 1-1 last year too but went on to suffer a massive slide and lost 3-1. Their ex coach, Stuart Law, had then mentioned how "there's no better team to learn from than Virat Kohli's India". This will be a good time to show what the West Indies have really learnt. A good day could go a long way in providing some context to this oddly scheduled three-match ODI series, when two consecutive T20 World Cups knock on the door.
India, on the other hand, lost a series to Australia at home earlier this year but haven't overindulged in preparations for this one. They have had optional practice sessions ahead of at least the last two ODIs. They also stand without Deepak Chahar who's the latest to be sidelinend with injury. With no Bhuvneshwar, Bumrah and now Chahar, and India not keen to play Kuldeep-Chahal together, it might not be such a bad time to play them after all.
But whatever be the result, the rights to host a series decider is the perfect reward for Cuttack, an endearing small-town venue still making its way back from Cyclone Fani. It's not difficult to tell how hard the state association has scrambled to make this match happen. You can see they are trying. There's sand art being done on one of the galleries that's closed due to safety concerns. There are art installations as timestamps of cricket's dominion. There's a mad rush for tickets. And the main gates of the Odisha Cricket Association are being subjected to some intense, elaborate cleaning. It's readying up to witness the floodlights switch on and shine the light on cricket in Cuttack again tomorrow.
What: India vs West Indies, 3rd ODI, December 22, 1:30 PM local
Where: Barabati Stadium, Cuttack
What to expect
A trial by noise for the players. Shreyas Iyer acknowledged on match eve how loud the support was at India's practice session, and tomorrow being a Sunday will see Barabati chockablock with people. About 5,000 tickets haven't been put up for sale due to damage copped from Cyclone Fani but don't expect any subsidies on the noise front.
The pitch looked light brown 24 hours out from the match and is expected to grip for the spinners. The dew in the second innings though will make batting easier. 11 out of 18 matches have been won chasing here, so it shouldn't be a brain-racker to bowl first. How much inspiration are teams willing to take from India's bat-first total of 381/6 against England in 2017 remains to be seen.
India: Deepak Chahar is out with lower back pain, which opens the door for Navdeep Saini who's returning from an injury and could make his ODI debut. Barring Chahar's spot, the rest of the team has a settled look after the victory in Visakhapatnam but it's still a very long tail for them. Match Prediction
Probable XI: Rohit Sharma, Lokesh Rahul, Virat Kohli(c), Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant(w), Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Navdeep Saini
West Indies: Hayden Walsh Jnr was dropped for Khary Pierre in Visakhapatnam and has a shot at making it back. Brandon King may have to wait longer on the sidelines.
Probable XI: Shai Hope(w), Evin Lewis, Shimron Hetmyer, Nicholas Pooran, Roston Chase, Kieron Pollard(c), Jason Holder, Keemo Paul, Alzarri Joseph, Sheldon Cottrell, Khary Pierre
What they said
I think the wicket will be really fast in the second innings. The dew factor plays a massive role. Our fielding coach literally made the ball wet and we were taking catches. However bad the conditions will be, we are prepared. - Shreyas Iyer
The thing is we are trying to build something and the game tomorrow does not influence the direction in which we are going. We will continue to go in the direction we are going. - Phil Simmons