India vs West Indies 5th ODI: Preview

Published: Thursday, June 16, 2011, 9:01 [IST]
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India vs West Indies 5th ODI: Preview

Kingston, June 16: Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly once said that a good side is one that wins four matches out of five. He obviously set high standards for his team which explains how he moulded it into a force to reckon with. But now, will stand-in skipper Suresh Raina and Co be equal to the task of finishing the present series against the West Indies at 4-1?

It certainly seems they are, going by their overall performance. That's unless complacency sets in, like what happened in Antigua during the last match. Raina had conceded that the line-up's shot selection was poor and the application to forge partnerships were lacking in the game, which India wound up losing by 103 runs. Now Indian fans will be hoping their team returns to being a focused unit and finishes off the one-day series with a bang.

However, there's good news for the Windies' pace attack - they will finally get to play on the bouncy track of Sabina Park, which will no doubt favour their seam-heavy attack. They would like to shirk off their woes, which have left Andre Russell leading the Windies' speedsters' table- with a mere four wickets in four matches. Meanwhile, India will have to practice hard in order to neuter the challenging effect of the short ball, a feature that they have not had a promising history in.

The visitors will accordingly be inclined to look to the tremendous form of middle-order batsman Rohit Sharma, who is averaging a phenomenal 200 (which also happens to be his aggregate) in the series thus far. Opener Parthiv Patel is not far behind at 141 runs in the one-day leg of the tour. But the other Indian batsmen will also have to play their part in taking India's innings forward.

However, more than the batting, it is India's attack that appears truly intimidating. The first time in the tour that it fell apart was at the death of the Windies' innings in the last match. How much purchase the spinners will be able to get out of the quicker track is a point of dispute. If they are successful on this surface, it will bode well for them going into the Test series.

Indian leg-break Amit Mishra may have picked up a chart-topping 9 wickets in four matches at an average of 17.00 thus far. But it is here that he will have to pass the litmus test. Meanwhile, his team-mate Munaf Patel, who has garnered just one wicket less than him, is expected to be in his element on this strip. A lot of the team's fortunes will hinge on how well he bowls at the start and the end of the innings.

Finally, the Windies will have to bring about a transformation in their batting. With a woefully lop-sided line-up where very little substance has been coming from the top-order, the middle and latter order are shouldered with the burden of stabilising, consolidating and pressing ahead.

Lendl Simmons appears to be the only batsman taking his role (of opener) somewhat seriously, with an average of 42.75. It's a shame that Chris Gayle won't be playing in his own home ground. And you know you have trouble with your batsmen if a bowler (Andre Russell) emerges as the third highest scorer for the home side! Hopefully, both teams will pull up their socks and treat TV and venue audiences to competitive cricket once again.

Oneindia Cricket

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