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Player of the Match
Player of the Match

West Indies look to complete first whitewash in five years

Shai Hope smashes one on the leg side Getty Images

Big picture

These are two sides still in the transitional phase, ranked nine and ten in the ODI charts, coming into the series with newly-appointed captains and a refreshed squad. One might have expected to see an even contest but West Indies have been superior by all means in the series.

With a mix of new talent and experience, they seem like they have the building blocks of a strong team in the future. They couldn't have asked for a better start to their tour - a strong batting display and some impressive fast bowling has handed them wins in the first two matches against Afghanistan and their first ODI series win since 2014.

Be it Shai Hope's calculative play, Roston Chase's matchwinning knock, Nicholas Pooran's rescue act or Hayden Walsh Jr's impressive spell, it has been a series for pulling it all together, especially in the aftermath of their disappointing 50-over World Cup campaign.

There were threats for West Indies coming into the series, especially with the opposition having Rashid Khan in their ranks. But they've negotiated that quite well. Not to mention that the legspinner himself has been going through a quite difficult year, having struggled in the World Cup, followed by going wicketless against West Indies for the first time in his career during the first ODI.

Afghanistan's biggest concern has been their batting. There are just a few notable performers - who have also struggled to convert - and there has been hardly any solid stands or calculated strokeplay to help them aim for bigger totals. Their display has not been quite spirited as the one in 2017, when they drew the ODI series against West Indies in their own backyard.

Form guide

Afghanistan LLLLL (completed matches, most recent first)
West Indies WWLLW

In the spotlight

Afghanistan desperately need their top order to fire, and that's exactly what's expected out of Hazratullah Zazai. But he has been misfiring, having been dismissed for 9 and 23 respectively in the first two ODIs. Since his ODI debut last year against Ireland, he has just one half-century in the format, which is also his only 40-plus score. While he might keep his place in the T20Is, where he averages 52.22 in 10 matches, Afghanistan might be forced to look for other options in ODIs if he continues to fail.

With their fast bowling unit looking in great touch, West Indies might consider throwing in an extra spinner for the final ODI. An ODI debut for left-arm spinner Khary Pierre, perhaps? He excelled in the Caribbean Premier League this year, having been Trinbago Knight Riders' go-to new-ball bower.

Team news

With the opening pair struggling, will Afghanistan hand a debut to 17-year old Ibrahim Zadran? The youngster has an average of 40.23 in List A games and earlier this year scored a half-century on his Test debut against Bangladesh.

Afghanistan (possible): 1 Hazratullah Zazai/ Ibrahim Zadran, 2 Javed Ahmadi, 3 Rahmat Shah, 4 Ikram Alikhil (wk), 5 Najibullah Zadran, 6 Asghar Afghan, 7 Mohammad Nabi, 8 Sharafuddin Ashraf, 9 Rashid Khan (capt), 10 Mujeeb Ur Rahman, 11 Naveen-ul-Haq/Yamin Ahmadzai,

Alzarri Joseph followed up his expensive spell in the first ODI with a frugal one in the second. But considering he has gone wicketless in both the ODIs and also in four of his last five ODI appearances, West Indies, who already have a well-rounded pace attack, might consider Keemo Paul for the game.

West Indies (possible): 1 Evin Lewis, 2 Shai Hope (wk), 3 Shimron Hetmyer, 4 Nicholas Pooran 5 Roston Chase, 6 Kieron Pollard (capt), 7 Jason Holder, 8 Romario Shepherd, 9 Sheldon Cottrell, 10 Alzarri Joseph/Keemo Paul/Khary Pierre, 11 Hayden Walsh Jr

Pitch and conditions

While matches in India in the recent times have been clouded by atmospheric issues, the second ODI in Lucknow was interrupted by a moth invasion in the stadium. West Indies players were even seen sporting masks. But weather-wise, clear skies are expected on Monday.

Stats and Trivia

  • The last time West Indies whitewashed a team was also when they won an ODI series, against Bangladesh in 2014

  • This has been Rashid's worst year in ODIs. His bowling average in 2019 is 50.92

West Indies 2nd innings Partnerships

WktRunsPlayers
4E LewisSD Hope
0SD HopeSO Hetmyer
64SD HopeBA King
51SD HopeN Pooran
63KA PollardSD Hope
71RL ChaseSD Hope