Contest between two batting units
Match factsTuesday, June 11, 2013, The Oval
Start time 1030 (0930GMT)
Big PictureIt is a little surprising that these two sides, hugely popular among the expatriate population in England, haven't faced each other in an ODI in England in the last 30 years. When India last played West Indies in an ODI in England, ODI cricket and West Indies were the kings. India upset West Indies that afternoon, became the new kings of ODI cricket, and paved the way for a whole new commercial explosion in the format. Thirty years later, as they face off in England again, India are the world champions and the No. 1 ODI side, but the format itself is fighting for relevance, at least in popular discourse.
West Indies, knocked off their proud perch long ago, will like to believe they have begun the resurgence through Twenty20, the format that is supposed to be the premier limited-overs format. This Champions Trophy provides them a big opportunity to carry that resurgence into the ODIs. And if they can beat India, the only way to keep West Indies out of the semi-finals will be net run rate. If India win, they are through to the semi-finals as only one out of West Indies and South Africa would then be able to secure two wins*.
These are teams built around batting might. The new regulations might have made India sacrifice one of the seven batsmen they loved to play, but they still rely on their batsmen, who racked up 331 against South Africa. West Indies' win might have come in a low-scoring game, but they played with just three specialist bowlers, with captain Dwayne Bravo, Marlon Samuels and Chris Gayle left to share 20 overs between them. West Indies might add one bowler to the line-up, but it still remains a contest between the mighty batting units.
Form guide(Most recent first)
West Indies WWWWL
In the Spotlight
Before Shikhar Dhawan stunned the world with his back-to-back centuries in international cricket, he was discarded because he had failed against West Indies in the West Indies. Going through a phase of supreme form and high confidence, Dhawan now has a chance to set that record straight. Or do West Indies know how to bowl to him better than others do?
India's policy has been clear: play out the initial overs, and the batsmen coming in later can make up for the run rate if there are wickets in hand. Kemar Roach is a man who can put spanners in those works. He did so against Pakistan too, with 3 for 28.
India had to make two choices going into the Champions Trophy, and both have come off. Rohit Sharma succeeded as opener, and Ravindra Jadeja as allrounder. Don't expect any changes there
India (probable) 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 Rohit Sharma, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Dinesh Karthik, 5 MS Dhoni (capt. & wk), 6 Suresh Raina, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 10 Ishant Sharma, 11 Umesh Yadav
Denesh Ramdin will not be available for selection after he was suspended for two ODIs by the ICC. Johnson Charles is likely to keep wicket, and either Darren Sammy or Tino Best will play. Charles had good wicketkeeping practice at The Oval on the eve of the game, first standing to Sunil Narine and then having more drills from the fielding coach.
West Indies (probable) 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Johnson Charles (wk), 3 Darren Bravo, 4 Marlon Samuels, 5 Ramnaresh Sarwan, 6 Dwayne Bravo (capt.), 7 Kieron Pollard, 8 Darren Sammy/Tino Best, 9 Ravi Rampaul, 10 Sunil Narine, 11 Kemar Roach
Pitch and conditions
Conditions have been quite unpredictable. On the same Cardiff pitch that India scored 331, New Zealand and Sri Lanka lost 19 wickets for 277 runs. West Indies might have played a low-scoring thriller against Pakistan at The Oval, but you can't surely say this game, too, will be difficult for the batsmen. A cool day with a 10% chance of rain is expected.
Stats and Trivia
- In 23 matches against West Indies, Suresh Raina has scored just one fifty and averages 19.72 with a strike rate of 77.
- Chris Gayle, with 734 at 56.46, has scored the most runs in Champions Trophy.
Quotes"The Gayle factor will always be there. These are sort of individuals who have a big impact on the game. So it is good to get them out early. Our fast bowlers will have fair chance in the sense they have two new balls and with overcast conditions they will get a bit of help, too."
MS Dhoni is aware of the kind of damage Gayle can do on opponents.
*07.50GMT, June 11: The preview has been updated after the Pakistan-South Africa game
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo