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Shikhar Dhawan eyes return as India seek series sweep

Having completed the series win against West Indies, India are likely to explore more options in the third and final ODI of the series in Ahmedabad, with the likes of Shikhar Dhawan and Shreyas Iyer eyeing game time.


India v West Indies, 3rd ODI
Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad
11 February, 01:30 PM local

While India opened with Ishan Kishan and Rohit Sharma in the first match, Rishabh Pant partnered Rohit in the second despite KL Rahul’s return. Shikhar Dhawan is now set to return to the line-up and replace Pant at the top, as per skipper Rohit’s comments after the last game.

Meanwhile, India also changed their new-ball bowlers with Shardul Thakur opening the bowling in the second game and Prasidh Krishna, who did so with Mohammed Siraj in the previous match, moving to first change. The spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar have had decent game time and with the series sealed, a comeback for Kuldeep Yadav could also be on the cards.

West Indies, meanwhile, have more at stake with valuable ICC Cricket World Cup Super League points available from this fixture.

West Indies have currently lost nine of their 14 Super League matches and are eighth in the points table. The points on offer could be crucial for them to seal a qualification spot for the ICC Men’s 2023 Cricket World Cup.

India, as hosts of the tournament, have already automatically qualified for the event, but with the series already sealed, the clash will offer valuable opportunity to experiment combinations.

Remember the last time

India pulled a few cards in the second ODI in Ahmedabad, with Pant going up to open the batting and Sundar moving up the order. Thakur was also given the new ball as India looked to experiment and try out different options as Rohit later revealed.

West Indies’ top-order woes continued as they were languishing at 76/5 at one point. In both matches so far the visitors have lost at least five wickets before crossing the three-figure mark. The top three haven’t fired for them and more than once it was the lower order rescuing the team with the bat, and giving the innings a boost.

There was a positive in Odean Smith, who was impressive with both bat and ball. He could be the X-factor player West Indies are looking for – he dismissed Pant and Virat Kohli in the same over, and then played a handy cameo from down the order.

What they said

Rohit Sharma (India captain): “I’ve been asked to do different things, trying out Pant to open was something that we tried today, not a permanent solution but we wanted to try out something unique today. We’re going to get Shikhar back in the next game, he’s going to get his game time but ultimately, we have to keep trying out different things.”

Nicholas Pooran (West Indies stand-in captain): “Odean [Smith] is special. He is a strong guy, runs in can bowl 145. He is still young. With experience, sky is the limit for him.”

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