Foot firmly set on the pedal, a marauding India would be aiming to seal the series with yet another resounding performance against a below-par West Indies in the fourth One-Day International, here today. With comprehensive back-to-back victories in the second and third ODIs, it seems like a mere formality as Virat Kohli and his men are slowly inching towards a complete rout of their opposition despite the first game being abandoned.
The victory margins of 105 and 93 runs respectively is a testimony to India’s complete dominance in the current series. The West Indies side has looked like a rag tag outfit which has only turned up and failed to put up any semblance of fight. For Kohli, a 4-0 victory many not earn him a lot of plaudits due to the sheer quality of opposition but would definitely help him to deflect the unwanted controversy that was created due to his alleged role in sudden departure of national coach Anil Kumble.
The best part about India’s performance is that they have had all bases covered. The batsmen have been amongst runs while the bowlers have displayed exemplary discipline in their effort. Ajinkya Rahane, with scores of 62, 103 and 72, has made full use of the opportunities. Shikhar Dhawan despite rare failure in the third game has been in red hot form. Kohli has been consistent as ever but the middle-order, which wasn’t getting much game time, came to the fore during the third game. There was some pressure after Dhawan and Kohli departed early but Mahendra Singh Dhoni anchored the innings with an unbeaten 79 just like he has done on innumerable occasions. Yuvraj Singh could have scored more but 39 will give him some confidence. Kohli also gave Kedar Jadhav an opportunity to up the ante as he had given Hardik Pandya a go in the second game.
Kedar’s unbeaten 40 filled with unorthodox shots went a long way in India getting past the 250-run mark on a difficult track. “Kedar is completely different player as he likes to express himself in the last 8-10 overs. It was because of Kedar and Mahi bhai (Dhoni), we got 20 runs extra,” Rahane had said after the match. The ‘Men In Blue’ have controlled the proceedings at will and Jason Holder and his team have had no clue. While chasing a target of 252, on a slowish wicket, West Indies just surrendered meekly. Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav is improving with each game and Ravindra Jadeja will be a touch worried conceding that the UP lad has more variations up his sleeve than the Rajkot all-rounder. Ravichandran Ashwin was also back in form with 3 for 28 completing a personal milestone of 150 ODI wickets. Dhoni was seen giving some tips from behind the stumps and Rahane admitted that his inputs are still invaluable. “We all are lucky to have him. The kind of knowledge he has, Virat can walk upto him anytime and ask for his suggestion,” Rahane said. It will be interesting to see if Kohli decides to tweak his playing XI, may be get Dinesh Karthik or Rishabh Pant in the middle-order in place of Yuvraj Singh.
Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Kuldeep Yadav, Rishabh Pant, Dinesh Karthik, Mohammed Shami, Ravindra Jadeja
Jason Holder (capt), Sunil Ambris, Devendra Bishoo, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Kyle Hope, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Ashley Nurse, Rovman Powell, Kesrick Williams.