Former Indian opener Wasim Jaffer believes that India should field their strongest playing XI in the final ODI against West Indies to avoid the embarrassment of losing the series. Jaffer emphasized the importance of having both captain Rohit Sharma and senior batsman Virat Kohli in the lineup for the decisive match. The third and final ODI will take place at the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba, Trinidad, where India won the first match by five wickets but suffered a six-wicket defeat in the second game.
India and West Indies are set to clash in the third and deciding ODI at the Brian Lara Stadium in Tarouba, Trinidad on Tuesday. The Indian team secured a victory in the first ODI in Barbados, defeating West Indies by five wickets. However, they faced a setback in the second game, losing to the hosts by six wickets. With the series level at 1-1, both teams will be eager to claim victory in the final match and clinch the series.
In anticipation of the crucial ODI, Wasim Jaffer advised India to avoid any experimental changes to their lineup. He emphasized the significance of winning the series against West Indies, especially considering that the hosts failed to qualify for the upcoming World Cup. Jaffer believes that a series loss to West Indies would have a negative impact on India’s confidence and, therefore, urges the team to play their strongest XI in the decisive match. The Men in Blue will be aiming to secure victory and maintain their winning momentum heading into the major tournaments.
“India doesn’t want to be [beaten]. They’ll feel embarrassed if they lose this series with the kind of team that they have. Everything to play for both teams,” Jaffer told ESPNcricinfo.
“It was surprising that Virat and Rohit weren’t playing. You expected them to win the series and then try something new or whatever you want to try in the third ODI after winning the series. I was surprised. Hardik [Pandya] said that they wanted some answers for whatever questions they had. I wonder what… there are not many positive answers coming in,” he added.
Regarding the modifications he would like to see for the series decider, Jaffer restated that India shouldn’t take any chances with the series. He clarified:
“The series is on the line, so you might see Rohit and Virat coming back into the side. Just changing the team for one game, you are not going to get any answers. I am hoping Rohit and Virat are forced to play in the third ODI. We went into the second ODI in a kind of confused state. You don’t want to lose the series, which is on the line,” Jaffer concluded.