Windies, India eyeing victory in last One-dayer

Published: Saturday, May 27, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
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Port of Spain:Both West Indies captain Brian Lara and India skipper Rahul Dravid agree that the fifth and final One-day international between their two sides at Queen's Park Oval is not a dead affair.

West Indies took a winning 3-1 lead in the five-match series on Friday, when they completed a six-wicket victory at the same venue. "It's not a dead match," Lara told reporters.

"We are on the road to getting ourselves ready for the 2007 ICC World Cup in the West Indies. First of all, we have the ICC Champions Trophy in India later this year, and we are looking forward to this, so it is important that we keep the distance between ourselves and India.

"We know that they are without a couple of their best players, but I think it is important that we continue winning."

Lara indicated that the final ODI will be a test of the West Indies' reserves, since a few of them are likely to be included in the line-up.

"In all, I was quite happy with the performance of the guys, and it now makes the game on Sunday very, very important for us," he said. "We are going to try, I suppose, some of our reserves, and if we can beat India with them, I think it shows that we are clearly a better team."

India, rated at three on the International Cricket Council's ODI Rankings, came to the Caribbean with a huge reputation, and Dravid believes Sunday gives them one final chance to live up to expectations.

"We are trying to play at our best and it's another chance to get used to the conditions in the Caribbean, and our younger players to play some cricket and show the people they can really play," he said.

Dravid admitted it was a huge disappointment to lose the series, but India would be a better side for the setback.

"As I have said, everything is a learning process, something at which we can get better," he said. "It's good in a way. We know the areas of the game we need to work on and at which we need to get better, and I think we will get better with the experience.

"I think there are a lot of young boys in this team, so I think they'll learn from the experiences, and hopefully, we will be a better side for it in the future."

West Indies victory in the series was their first major triumph in an ODI series under any format, since they clinched the ICC Champions Trophy in Britain two years ago.

It is also the first victory in a bilateral series for West Indies against a side ranked higher on the ICC ODI Rankings, since ironically they prevailed 4-3 over the Indians four years ago on the sub-continent.

India won the series opener at Kingston by five wickets with one ball to spare, and West Indies rebounded clinch the second ODI at the same venue by one run with two balls to spare, and the third ODI at Basseterre by four wickets with one ball to spare.

West Indies (from): Brian Lara (captain), Carlton Baugh Jr., Ian Bradshaw, Dwayne Bravo, Sewnarine Chattergoon, Corey Collymore, Fidel Edwards, Christopher Gayle, Wavell Hinds, Dave Mohammed, Marlon Samuels, Ramnaresh Sarwan, Dwayne Smith, Jerome Taylor.

India (from): Rahul Dravid (captain), Ajit Agarkar, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Mohammed Kaif, Munaf Patel, Irfan Pathan, Ramesh Powar, Suresh Raina, Venugopal Rao, Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Rudra Pratap Singh, Yuvraj Singh, Shantha Sreesanth, Robin Uthappa.

Umpires: Steve Bucknor, Simon Taufel, TV Replays: Billy Doctrove

Reserve: Terence Birbal

Match referee: Chris Broad

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