Team India suffer problem of penury amidst plenty

Published: Tuesday, January 30, 2007, 23:53 [IST]
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Baroda:Left arm pacer Irfan Pathan is all set to return to the India team and that too on his home turf, as India continue their search for the elusive all-rounder with the World Cup just a month away when the hosts meet West Indies in the fourth and final one-day match at the IPCL ground here tomorrow.

The Indian think tank is still looking for an all-rounder at number six or seven, who can contribute substantially with the bat and also be able to bowl well and they would be looking upto Irfan Pathan to do that role even as the hosts grapple with problems of form with their top players.

In the last game at Chennai, India, after getting a dream start being 235 for four after 35 overs, floundered to be bowled out for 268 with their tail once again showing their incapability with the bat.

The Indian batting itself has shown to be heavily dependent on two to three players with players of the class like Sachin Tendulkar, inspite of his half century in the last match, not firing on all cylinders.

With this being the last match of the series, Dravid and coach Chappell will look at a much improved all round performance especially at the top where players like Gautam Gambhir, tried in place of Virender Sehwag, not clicking as they should. However, the form of Robin Uthappa in the last match, the only chance he has got so far, would have brought some cheers to Dravid and the think tank.

However, they would now look seriously at once again opening with Sachin and comeback man Sourav Ganguly. In the bowling department, it looks settled with Zaheer Khan getting back his old rhythm and form and Ajit Agarkar always a dangerous competitor. If Irfan, who is making a comeback after being sent back home from South Africa for non performance, can produce his old form, the Indians would be very happy with Anil Kumble, Harbhajan Singh and Ramesh Powar, all bowling their spinners well.

The West Indies, on the other hand, are looking to go back home with a win in this last match which will also square the series at 2-2. This being the last match they will play before the World Cup starts, the West Indian think tank will look at fielding their best possible 11 to give them an idea on the team for the World Cup.

The West Indian have a couple of fitness worries with last match hero Marlon Samuels injuring his left index finger and Dwayne Bravo having a shoulder injury.

The West Indians would take a decision on their inclusion in the team after a final fitness test tomorrow morning before the toss. Shivnaraine Chanderpaul, their mainstay in batting, will return after missing the Chennai game with injury and the West Indians would look at the other players to take a fight even after losing their top two-three players early.

The bowling looks decent enough with the experience Ian Bradshaw and youngster Jerome Taylor with his pace being able to rattle the best of sides. Other than thess two, there are Dwayne Smith and Bravo as well as spinners Chris Gayle and Marlon Samuels, who have proved to be more than a handful in the previous matches on these slow and wickets.

The wicket for the match looks like a typical Vadodara wicket full of runs and with a short boundary, the spectators are in for a treat on the morrow.

The Teams:

India: Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Gautam Gambhir, Robin Uthappa, Yuvraj Singh, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Irfan Pathan, Ajit Agarkar, Dinesh Karthick, Anil Kumble, S Sreesanth, Harbhajan Singh and Ramesh Powar.

West Indies: Brian Lara (c)) Chris Gayle, Shivnaraine Chanderpaul, Runako Morton, Dwayne Smith, Devon Smith, Dwayne Bravo, Marlon Sameuls, Dinesh Ramadin, Ian Bradshaw, Jerome Taylor, R Emrit, Darren Powell and L Simmons.

Umpires: Billy Bowden and Suresh Shastru

Macth referee: Alan Hurst.


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