Team India look for a win in third One-dayer

Published: Monday, May 22, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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St Kitts:With a huffed-and-puffed win, followed by a nerve-jangling defeat, Team India suddenly finds its aura missing and the Men in Blue will take to the field with a dented pride against a resurgent West Indies in the third of the five-match ODI here tomorrow.

India's five-wicket win in the series opener at Sabina Park came with just two balls to spare and the hosts avenged it in style, forcing a one-run win in the second ODI at the same venue and the issue was settled when Dwayne Bravo's last ball slower-yorker got the better of an otherwise magnificient Yuvraj Singh's defence.

In the 1983 World Cup, Kapil's Devils had won a low scoring match against Clive Lloyd's men in the final to deny the giants their third straight title. More than two decades later and on a smaller occasion, Brian Lara's lads returned the favour winning a thriller, again a low-scoring match.

The second One dayer snapped India's brilliant run of 17 straight victories and Rahul Dravid's men will surely be eager to regain the lead.

Though Dravid was philosophical in the post-match press conference and felt every good thing must come to an end, the hard-earned win injected fresh air in the West Indies squad which is ready for the rigour with renewed vigour.

The much-celebrated Indian battling line-up, with the exceptions of the captain himself and Yuvraj, has fired blanks so far and barring Ajit Agarkar, no other bowlers looked threatening enough.

Virender Sehwag is still one knock away from his usual self, while Irfan Pathan, batting at number three in both the matches, could not vindicate coach Greg Chappell.

Mohammad Kaif, despite a half-century, is yet to convince the critics while Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Suresh Raina have not been firing on all cylinders yet.

On the contrary, the hosts look a cohesive side and the 5-0 win against Zimbabwe seems to have done wonders with the squad, which was reduced to cricketing world's favourite punching bag till the other day.

Lara has not shone yet but Chris Gayle showed in the first match what he is capable of, while Ramnaresh Sarwan displayed impeccable temperament and stood tall amid ruins in the second one dayer.

The lower order batsmen's ability to use the long handle and up the ante have also come handy and the hosts would be plotting another upstage when they take on Team India tomorrow.

Squad (From): India :Virender Sehwag, Robin Uthappa, Rahul Dravid (captain), Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Suresh Raina, Venugopal Rao, MS Dhoni (wk), Irfan Pathan, Ramesh Powar, Harbhajan Singh, Ajit Agarkar, S Sreesanth, Rudra Pratap Singh and Munaf Patel.

West Indies : Brian Lara (captain), Christopher Gayle, Runako Morton, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Shivnarine Chanderpaul, Marlon Samuels, Dwayne Smith, Carlton Baugh (wk), Corey Collymore, Fidel Edwards, Jerome Taylor, Ian Bradshaw, Dwayne Bravo and Dave Mohammed.

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