India vs West Indies 4th ODI: Preview

Published: Monday, June 13, 2011, 8:57 [IST]
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India vs West Indies 4th ODI: Preview

North Sound, Antigua, June 13: The handful of optimists out there would say that from their close third encounter against India, the Windies have signalled an upswing in their game. Sure, the hosts have lost the 5-match series 3-zip, but the team from the Caribbean has demonstrated how flashes of individual brilliance can turn the tables on a formidable opposition... almost.

Indeed, in game 3, Andre Russell shouldered the burden of both stabilising the Windies innings and slogging away in the death, while Darren Sammy and Devendra Bishoo pushed India against the wall with their tight bowling. Now, the individuals in the Windies side need to coalesce into a more cohesive unite and play like a genuine team again.

That means that the premier batsman need to each pitch in with forceful innings and prevent the loss of wickets in clusters or else the opposition will wrest control. And they certainly can't thrive on a lop-sided line-up, where they leave it to the latter order, as was the case in the last match, to swing fortunes around. One-day cricket is all about pacing one's innings so that the middle-order can build on a strong base provided by the top-order.

India for its part, will not be taking the Windies lightly in the last two games of the series as the visitors are eying a clean-sweep. After all, such a result would propel the team to the top of the ODI rankings. Even though India's team composition has shown that it has a potent equation going, they will probably consider tweaking it by getting in some benchwarmers. Thus, paceman Ishant Sharma, who last played in ODI in August, 2010 should come in in place of Munaf Patel or Praveen Kumar.

The Indian spinners meanwhile are going great guns with Amit Mishra and Harbhajan Singh ensnaring 11 wickets between them in the series so far with economy rates falling well below 4 runs an over. One seriously wonders how many more collapses the Windies will keep having, before the batsmen wisen up to the tweakers. Perhaps an extended work out in the nets for the batters to conquer spin is called for.

The Windies simply can't lament and bemoan the absence of Chris Gayle and the poor form of Kieron Pollard if they are to take the fight to the Indians. They have the resources and talent to fight back in the series and now just require the determination toand drive to shine through...

Oneindia Cricket

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