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India eye unassailable lead in third ODI

Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowls during a practice session ahead of the 3rd ODI against West Indies.
 NORTH SOUND (ANTIGUA), June 29: A formidable India will fancy their chances of taking an unassailable 2-0 lead against a weakened West Indies when the two sides lock horns in the third game of the ongoing five-match ODI series, here tomorrow.

India lead the rubber 1-0 after winning the second One-Day International in Port of Spain by 105 runs. The opening match of the series was abandoned due to rain after only 39 overs of play at the Queen’s Park Oval.

World number three India showed their might in the second game with a 105-run drubbing of the hosts, which highlighted the gulf between the two teams.

In the second match, the bowlers stifled the home team with their impeccable line and length after India’s top three batsmen – Ajinkya Rahane, Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli – delivered the goods as they recorded their biggest ever victory in the West Indies.

Rahane smashed his third ODI hundred, while Kohli and Dhawan notched up fluent half centuries, as India produced a splendid batting display to pile on 310 for five.

The trio would look to continue in same vein even as veterans like Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh would hope for some good performance in the middle.

The presence of young all-rounders Hardik Pandya and Kedar Jadhav gives the visiting side’s batting solidity, and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin’s ability with the bat is well-documented.

In the bowling department, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav will again lead the attack with Pandya coming in as first change, while the spin responsibility is likely to be shouldered by Ashwin and Kuldeep Yadav.

Yadav, a chinaman bowler, was impressive in the second ODI, returning with figures of three for 50 in nine overs and earning accolades from skipper Kohli.

For a change, Yuvraj too rolled his arms over after a while, and it remains to be seen whether the team management opts for an extra slow bowler in Ravindra Jadeja.

Seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar was miserly, claiming two wickets while giving away just nine runs in his five overs.

Besides the usual practice sessions, the likes of Kohli, Yuvraj, Dhawan and Pandya looked happy while sweating it out in the gym ahead of the match. – PTI

Match starts at 6.30 pm

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