Kingston: India's preparations for a One-day series against the West Indies suffered a setback as rain-washed out its workout ahead of the first match starting at Sabina Park on Saturday. The weather is likely to affect the first One-dayer as it has been raining since India suffered a 155-run defeat at the hands of the West Indies in the fifth Test to lose a five-match series 2-1 on Wednesday. The second One-dayer will be held at the same venue on Sunday, followed by matches at Bridgetown on May 29 and at Port-of-Spain on June 1 and 2. India will be looking forward to a vastly improved performance from its batsmen in the shorter version of the game so as to return home in a better frame of mind. "We've got to salvage our pride.
We've lost the Test series and we should now try to win One-dayers," said India skipper Saurav Ganguly on Thursday. The arrival of One-day specialists Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif and Ajit Agarkar augurs well for India, who struggled for all-rounders in the recently concluded Test series. Ganguly said his team would have to raise the level of its performance to win the One-day series because the West Indies is a strong side at home. "We've a good One- day squad, but winning the series is a different ball-game altogether," said Ganguly. "Sehwag is an exciting batsman. Yuvraj is very good and Kaif has also been performing, but we'll have to play really well to beat the West Indies at home." Sehwag returned to the squad after missing a series of five One-day Internationals against Zimbabwe at home due to a shoulder-injury sustained during the second Test against the visitors at Delhi in March.
The 23-year-old rose to fame with a 69-ball century against New Zealand in a triangular series at Colombo last year. He has so far scored 699 in 28 matches. Yuvraj and Dinesh Mongia are the other batsmen capable of dominating any attack with their clean and hard-hitting. Mongia did not get a chance in Tests, but is likely to play a prominent role in One-dayers, especially after his unbeaten 159 in his last match against Zimbabwe at home. His knock, the fourth highest by an Indian in One-day Internationals, helped his team clinch the five-match series 3-2 against Stuart Carlisle's Zimbabweans. Kaif is unlikely to find a place in the squad here despite averaging 41.50 in eight matches, as middle-order batsmen Venkat Sai Laxman and Rahul Dravid have batted well in Tests.
Laxman scored 474 in five Tests with one hundred and four half-centuries and Dravid 404 with one century and two fifties. West Indies captain Carl Hooper said his team could not afford to be complacent after beating India in the Test series as it was necessary to build on the success. The hosts also strengthened their squad with One-day specialists Corey Collymore and Gareth Breese, who replaced fast bowler Adam Sanford and leg spinner Dinanath Ramnarine. Jamaican off spinner Breese is the only newcomer in the team, while paceman Collymore has taken 26 wickets in 20 One-dayers.
The teams: West Indies (from): Carl Hooper (captain), Chris Gayle, Wavell Hinds, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Brian Lara, Shivnaraine Chanderpaul, Ridley Jacobs, Mervyn Dillon, Cameron Cuffy, Pedro Collins, Corey Collymore, Gareth Breese and Ryan Hinds.
India (from): Saurav Ganguly (captain), Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Virender Sehwag, Dinesh Mongia, Venkat Sai Laxman, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Ajay Ratra, Ajit Agarkar, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Tinu Yohannan and Murali Kartik.