Another tough task for WI
ST JOHN’S, Antigua (CMC):
Struggling West Indies face powerhouses India in the pivotal third One-Day International here today, desperately needing a victory to halt the rot and make an actual contest of the five-match series.
They enter the first game of the double header at the Vivian Richards Cricket Ground 1-0 down following their 105-run defeat in the second ODI in Trinidad last Sunday, and another defeat here will allow India to put one hand on the series trophy.
The defeat at Queen’s Park Oval after the first game was rained out highlighted perfectly the gulf between the two teams. In a game reduced to 43 overs per side because of rain, India piled up 310, and West Indies stuttered and stumbled their way to 205 for six in reply.
With much left in the series to play for, however, captain Jason Holder urged improvement, especially from his bowlers.
“We’re only 1-0 down after the first game was rain-interrupted. It’s just obviously a situation where we need to tighten up a bit more on our bowling,” the 25-year-old all-rounder said.
In an attempt to turn around their fortunes, West Indies have made two changes to their 13-man squad from the Trinidad double header, calling up the uncapped pair of Kyle Hope and Sunil Ambris at the expense of the out-of-form duo of Kieran Powell and Jonathan Carter.
Opener Hope, the 28-year-old brother of Windies star Shai Hope, could make his debut in Powell’s absence, and Holder said that he would be an asset to the side.
“He brings youthful exuberance. He’s an energetic fielder and; obviously, a very good player,” Holder pointed out.
Ambris, too, has scored heavily in both the first-class and one-day competition this year, making it hard for selectors to ignore him.
Nevertheless, they join a batting line-up that struggled in the three-match Afghanistan series earlier this month and which needs a significant boost in order to start producing in the series.
Jason Mohammed, the Windies’ most consistent batsman this year, has had lean returns recently, with just nine runs in his three outings, and Evin Lewis has had starts but has still not passed 33.
WEST INDIES: (from) Jason Holder (captain), Devendra Bishoo, Sunil Ambris, Roston Chase, Miguel Cummins, Shai Hope, Alzarri Joseph, Evin Lewis, Jason Mohammed, Ashley Nurse, Kyle Hope, Rovman Powell, Kesrick Williams.