India have lost the toss for once in this fourth ODI at Antigua, but West Indies have flipped decision, deciding to bat first in a match that the Indians are heavily favoured to win. There was heavy flash rain at the Antigua ground after the toss, but there was little delay to the start of match. At the time of writing, the West Indies were 80/2 in the 22nd over, with Kuldeep Yadav and Hardik Pandya picking up a wicket each.
The match itself has been likened to a David versus Goliath battle, given the fine ODI form India has been over the past two years pitted against the World No.9 team that has been marred by disputes between the board and players, the flight of talent and general listlessness on an island nation that once ruled world cricket. Having lost the last two ODIs, and the first ODI abandoned due to heavy rain at the Port-of-Spain ground, West Indies can not come back to win the series, but will certainly look to make more than a dent in this match. This will be especially critical after their ODI loss to minnows Afghanistan and their failure to qualify for the Champions Trophy in England raised hard questions over the state of things in West Indies cricket.
India meanwhile have fielded a second string side, deciding to test their bench strength for once. There are several questions to be settled – Ajinkya Rahane’s inclusion in place of the rested Rohit Sharma seems to have raised further questions however with Rahane’s crushing form in the series, where he has scored two half centuries and a century in the three ODIs. Dinesh Karthik, Ravindra Jadeja and Mohammed Shami have been brought on for Yuvraj Singh, R Ashwin and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Yuvraj was reported to have a stiff hamstring, while the others were rested. Dinesh Karthik was given a chance over youngster Rishabh Pant, and the abundance of wicketkeeper-batsmen in the team surely will be a sweet headache for the captain and the incoming coach.
West Indies have brought on Alzarri Joseph for pacer Miguel Cummins.