India eye redemption, series win after embarrassing defeat
Underfire Indian batsmen would look to make amends for their startling collapse in the previous match and complete the series win when they take on West Indies in the fifth and final One-dayer, here on Thursday.
The series appeared done and dusted when India began a modest 190-run chase but their intimidating batting line-up fell short by 11 runs in a stunning turnaround on a slow pitch.
Of all the batsmen, former skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni drew the maximum flak for his slow batting as he played 70 dot balls in his 54-run knock off 114 balls.
He failed to clear the boundary ropes in his first attempt at a big shot, yet again raising questions if he is the same old force as a finisher.
Ravindra Jadeja too played an atrocious shot, resulting in his dismissal, which exposed India's tail to a crunch situation.
The top order, led by Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane, who has hit four half centuries in a row, has done the bulk of scoring and India would need the two batsmen to continue in the same vein.
It won't be a surprise if captain Virat Kohli, who minced no words in criticising his team's shot selection, brings about changes in the middle-order.
Dinesh Karthik, who played his first international match for India in more than three years in the fourth ODI, could not make any impact on his comeback but the team management is unlikely to drop him after just one failure.
It remains to be seen of veteran Yuvraj Singh is available after suffering a hamstring injury.
Kedar Jadhav has got a number of chances to prove his utility in the side but lacks consistency. It will be interesting to see if he keeps his place in the side since he is struggling for runs of late.
The surprise win would have certainly boosted the confidence of the West Indies and they will strive even harder for a series-levelling win.
However, it will be easier said than done since Indian players would be like wounded tigers after enduring an embarrassing defeat against a second string side and are expected to come hard at the hosts.
The home openers — Evin Lewis and Kyle Hopes — had got starts in the previous match as they succeeded to keep the Indian bowlers at bay for close to 20 overs in a decent beginning.
In fact, the following batsmen too managed double digit scores which would give them the belief that they can handle this Indian attack better.
The bowling attack of home team, led by captain Jason Holder, is not something which can intimidate the Indian batsmen but they will take heart from their performance in the last match and strive for another magic win.