Indian skipper Virat Kohli won the toss and opted to bowl in their series-deciding third and final One-Day International against West Indies at Barabati Stadium in Cuttack on Sunday (December 22).
The hosts, who were expected to make at least two changes of bringing in Yuzvendra Chahal and Navdeep Saini, struck to just allowing Saini to make his ODI debut as a replacement for the injured Deepak Chahar.
Navdeep Saini makes his ODI debut.
— BCCI (@BCCI) December 22, 2019
The tourists, on the other hand, have kept their squad unchanged after taking the home side by surprise in the opening game of the three-match series in Chennai.
India bounced back with some tremendous record-breaking performances from the opening centurions Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul before Kuldeep Yadav became the first Indian bowler to claim two hat-tricks in one-dayers in Visakhapatnam.
Sharma, after his 159-run knock in the second ODI, now stands just nine runs short of surpassing former Sri Lankan captain Sanath Jayasuriya’s 22-year-old record of being the highest run-scorer as an opener across all the formats.
Flat pitch. A high scoring ground. Dew expected to make an appearance by as early as 6pm. WI must score over 350 if they want to put pressure on India. TBH…even that might not be enough if Kohli gets going. A Kohli century coming tonight. #IndvWI
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) December 22, 2019
Kieron Pollard and Co. had no hesitation in chasing after putting India to bat first in the first two ODIs but today, the team which was to thinking twice before bowling second keeping the dew factor in mind will be forced to bowl according to what the situation demands.
The home side, who are eyeing a 10th straight bilateral series win over the Caribbean side, will try to restrict the Windies squad from putting up big numbers on the board to chase as the visitors will be keen to end a 13-year long wait to win against India in a bilateral ODI series.
Meanwhile, for India, their reputation is at stake as they have not lost two consecutive bilateral ODI series at home in the last 15 years.
The final ODI is also a chance for captain Kohli to better his 34-run record at the venue which is his among all venues in India where he has played at least three matches.
The 31-year-old has scored 3, 22, 1, 8 from three ODIs and one T20I at the Barabati Stadium before skipping the last match in Cuttack, a T20I against Sri Lanka in December 2017.
India: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma, Lokesh Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant(wk), Kedar Jadhav, Ravindra Jadeja, Mohammed Shami, Shardul Thakur, Kuldeep Yadav, Navdeep Saini.
West Indies: Kieron Pollard (capt), Evin Lewis, Shai Hope (wk), Shimron Hetmyer, Roston Chase, Nicholas Pooran, Jason Holder, Keemo Paul, Alzarri Joseph, Khary Pierre, Sheldon Cottrell.