Indore, Dec 7 - India will have to raise their game against a buoyant West Indies if they are to seal the series in the fourth One-day International at the Holkar Stadium here Thursday.
The West Indies showed fighting spirit in the first two ODIs before finally winning the third at Visakhapatnam to keep the five-match series alive. India lead the series 2-1.
India allowed the West Indies to make 269 after having them on mat at 170 for nine in the second ODI. In Ahmedabad, India had things under control until late fireworks by captain Darren Sammy and all-rounder Andre Russell took the West Indies to 260 from 181 for five in 45th over. The score in the end proved enough for the tourist's first win on the tour.
The Caribbean side, however, have already received a setback with in-form batsman and leading scorer of the series Darren Dravo ruled out due to a hamstring injury.
A lot has already been said about the form of Indian captain Virender Sehwag and ace batsman Gautam Gambhir, who got out to first ball at Motera. The Delhi duo are yet to shine in the series. Suresh Raina will be another one looking for runs after scores of 5, 0, 2 in three successive outings.
Rohit Sharma has been the stand out Indian batsman so far, scoring three consecutive fifties, including an unbeaten 90 in Visakhapatnam and 95 in Ahmedadbad.
The seamers also need to show consistency. They have got the early wickets but proved expensive in the death overs. The West Indies amassed 73 runs in the last five overs at Ahmedabad as Umesh Yadav and Abhimanyu Mithun's erratic line provided fodder for Sammy and Russell.
Irfan Pathan, who has been inducted in the squad for the last two ODIs, is likely to play.
The confidence in the West Indies camp must be sky high after their maiden win and they would be keen to end the tour on a high by performing well in the remaining two games.
"Morale of the team is good. So far, we kept seeing we have been coming close. It is about taking the opportunity, grabbing it and winning," Sammy said on the eve of the match here.
"It is two games left and most of the guys have been away from home for two and a half months. We want to finish on a high. We have to believe we can win. It is an important game for us and hopefully we can win it and take it down to Chennai for the final."
The West Indies would expect some runs from the openers, who have failed to score in tandem.
The highest opening wicket partnership for them has been 18 that was between Lendl Simmons and Adrian Barath.
India: Virender Sehwag (captain), Varun Aaron, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Virat Kohli, Abhimanyu Mithun, Parthiv Patel (wicket-keeper), Irfan Pathan, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, Rahul Sharma, Rohit Sharma, Manoj Tiwary, Vinay Kumar.
West Indies: Darren Sammy (captain), Lendl Simmons, Adrian Barath, Marlon Samuels, Darren Bravo, Danza Hyatt, Kieron Pollard, Denesh Ramdin (wicket-keeper), Andre Russell, Ravi Rampaul, Kemar Roach, Anthony Martin, Sunil Narine, Kieran Powell, Jason Mohammed. (IANS)