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India meet rejuvenated West Indies today

Published: Wednesday, September 20, 2006, 23:53 [IST]
 
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Kuala Lumpur: India will find themselves up against a rejuvenated West Indies side as they seek their first win of the DLF tri-series tournament in Malaysia today. Brian Lara's team upset Australia in their last match and he believes they can now go from strength to strength.

Indian team is looking at making few changes and S Sreesanth looks almost certain to find a place ahead of a seamer. ''We haven't picked the team but we won't see big changes, even though some changes would be there,'' said Indian Coach Greg Chappell.

He also said that the team had slightly different role for Irfan now. Irfan has struggled with the ball but has chipped in with a vital fifty batting at number three.

"Some people don't seem to have confidence in my players, but I do," Lara commented.

"We are not highly ranked in the world and are focused on getting up there. I feel it is going to come right."

West Indies hope to have seam bowler Corey Collymore available for the first time in the tournament after recovering from a thigh injury.

And having already qualified for next Sunday's final has given them a major lift ahead of the Champions Trophy in India, where they will have to pre-qualify despite being the defending champions.

Lara admitted West Indies had played some "bad cricket" since their Trophy triumph in 2004 but added: "The confidence is going up now and I think the guys are going to knit together and get something going."

India lost the previous meeting between the teams by 29 runs under the Duckworth-Lewis calculations after rain halted the game after 20 overs of the West Indies innings.

But they will take heart from having posted a total of 309-5 in that game, with Sachin Tendulkar scoring his 40th One-day century.

"There's bound to be a bit of pressure on us, but there's pressure on West Indies too. We want to win the next two matches and make it to the final," said fast bowler Munaf Patel.

He plans to alter his approach and concentrate on accuracy rather than striving for an extra yard of pace.

"There has been bounce and movement for the quicker bowlers here, but it's important to concentrate on line and length because those who stick to good lines and lengths are the ones who are having success.

"The boundaries are fairly small and if you sacrifice accuracy for pace, then you will go for plenty of runs," Patel added. For skipper Rahul Dravid, the equation is simple. They must win the game and beat Australia in the final round robin match to make the final. Lose either, and they will be on their way home early.

India are concerned about the possibility of further weather disruption. "The ball does a fair bit in the evening, especially if it rains," said Dravid. "Because of the rain, the wicket is under the covers a lot and a lot of moisture tends to come out. "It will be interesting to see how the track plays if the sun comes out, the moisture dries up and you get the full 50 overs in the evening."

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