Windies anxious to avoid another sweep

West Indies captain Nicholas Pooran (left) strikes a four as India wicketkeeper Sanju Samson looks on during the second ODI at Queens Park Oval, Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago, on Sunday

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad (CMC):

WEST INDIES were yesterday plotting how best to avoid their second straight One-Day International whitewash this month and their fourth in six series this year, as they geared up for Wednesday’s finale against powerhouses India.

Despite gutsy performances in both ODIs of the three-match series at Queen’s Park Oval, West Indies found themselves outplayed to come away with a three-run defeat in the opener last Friday and a two-wicket loss on Sunday.

Captain Nicholas Pooran said while his side was still smarting from both narrow defeats, the final ODI presented an opportunity for them to get that elusive win.

“The confidence level is there. The guys are obviously hurt. Those two losses obviously hurt us a lot, but tomorrow is another game and another experience and another opportunity for us to learn,” Pooran told a media conference.

“This game keeps teaching us different things every single opportunity we get and I’m just happy we’ve had that experience. It’s difficult to obviously lose and be disappointed but that’s where the learning takes place and, as a group, we understand and know that for a fact.

“Winning and losing is contagious and at the moment in ODI cricket, we’re losing and we’re finding ways to lose games.”

He added: “But in terms of the confidence levels, all the guys are ready again for the challenge tomorrow and we are ready to come there and put our hearts and souls out there and perform for the team just to get that win.”

Both performances were in stark contrast to the ordinary efforts on dodgy pitches against Bangladesh in Guyana, where West Indies failed to crack 200 on any occasion and were even bowled out for 108 in the second game – their second-lowest ODI total against the visitors.

However, on quality surfaces here, West Indies surpassed 300 in both ODIs, chasing in one instance and batting first in the other. Opener Shai Hope scored a hundred on Sunday, while Pooran, Brandon King and Kyle Mayers have all got 50s in the series to date.

Pooran said the Caribbean side had moved on from the disappointing Guyana experience and believed their talent was now being fully expressed in the ongoing series against India.

West Indies will have available elite all-rounder Jason Holder who missed the first two games after testing positive for COVID-19.

The home side lost to Pakistan last month in Multan and followed up with the series defeat to Bangladesh. They began the year with defeat to Ireland in Jamaica, were swept by India away before thrashing minnows the Netherlands last month.


WEST INDIES – Nicholas Pooran (captain), Shamarh Brooks, Brandon King, Rovman Powell, Keacy Carty, Kyle Mayers, Jason Holder, Hayden Walsh Jr, Keemo Paul, Shai Hope, Akeal Hosein, Alzarri Joseph, Jayden Seales, Romario Shepherd.

INDIA – Shikhar Dhawan (captain), Ruturaj Gaikwad, Shubman Gill, Deepak Hooda, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Ishan Kishan, Sanju Samson, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Avesh Khan, Prasidh Krishna, Mohammed Siraj, Arshdeep Singh.

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