India v West Indies, 1st ODI, Cuttack

Weakened India still tough to beat

The Preview by Siddarth Ravindran

November 28, 2011

Comments: 95 | Text size: A | A

Match facts

Tuesday, November 29
Start time 1430 (0900 GMT)


Virender Sehwag and Duncan Fletcher during practice session on the eve of the first ODI against West Indies, Cuttack, November 28, 2011
Virender Sehwag and Duncan Fletcher have to guide a relatively youthful Indian side © AFP
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Big Picture

India's previous home one-dayer took place in front of a sparse crowd at the Eden Gardens, reinforcing fears over the quantity of cricket being played, but with Tuesday's match taking place at the smaller cricketing centre of Cuttack, a jam-packed stadium is expected. Even though the the biggest crowd-pullers like MS Dhoni and Sachin Tendulkar are missing, tickets sales at the Barabati Stadium have been brisk, and even the practice sessions drew plenty of spectators.

A full-strength India would be expected to roll over West Indies at home, but they are missing at least four of their headliners. In addition, they have lost the most experienced bowler in their squad, Praveen Kumar - he was ruled out of the first three one-dayers with an injury. That means the most seasoned of the quicks is Vinay Kumar, all of 11 one-dayers old, giving the stand-in captain Virender Sehwag something of a challenge.

India are also missing two of their finishers, MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh, giving the likes of Rohit Sharma an audition for a permanent place in the hugely competitive middle order.

Despite India facing these hurdles, Darren Sammy has no illusions of the task ahead of his team, calling the series a "very, very tough challenge". Australia are the only team to have won a one-day series in India since April 2005. West Indies are boosted by the arrival of Kieron Pollard, an impact player who can quickly transform matches, and Lendl Simmons, their most consistent one-day batsman of the year. Sunil Narine, the unconventional Trinidad & Tobago offspinner whose variations mystified batsmen in the Champions League T20, could also pose problems in his first outing in international cricket.

Form guide

India WWWWW (Most recent first)
West Indies LWWWW

Watch out for…

Kieron Pollard has long had an uneasy relationship with the West Indies board, and despite his superstar status in the Twenty20 format, West Indies don't consider him for selection. That leaves the one-day format as his only platform for international cricket. And, worryingly for him, if there's one thing West Indies cricket have in abundance, it's medium-pace bowling, big-hitting allrounders. Darren Sammy is, obviously, an automatic pick, Andre Russell has displayed his talent this year, and Dwayne Bravo could also be a contender as and when fit.

Ravindra Jadeja was a deeply unpopular figure towards the end of 2010, but has won over some of the critics with his performances in the home-and-away series against England. Two Man of the Match awards and a bagful of wickets have secured his place in the XI for the current series, but he needs to extend that run. If Yuvraj Singh returns for the Australia tour, India could be tempted to go back to their World Cup-winning formula of seven-batsmen and four-bowlers, which could squeeze Jadeja out of the XI.

Pitch and conditions

The last time these two teams faced off at the Barabati Stadium was nearly five years ago, when India managed to defend 189. This time, though, it is expected to be a high-scoring match, as most ODIs in India usually are. "There will be plenty of runs for the batsmen," the curator Pankaj Patnaik said. "I am not ruling out a total of 300. Bowlers will get good bounce and there will be a little turn for spinners." Dew is expected to play a role, though a chemical spray will be regularly used to reduce its impact.

Team news

The absence of Dhoni means Parthiv Patel will have to be picked, dimming the chances of Ajinkya Rahane getting a game early in the series. Rohit Sharma, returning after a finger injury sidelined him during the England tour, is likely to get the nod ahead of Manoj Tiwary for a place in the middle order. The injury to Praveen could allow India play both their rookie quick bowlers, Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron.

India (probable) 1 Virender Sehwag (capt), 2 Parthiv Patel (wk), 3 Gautam Gambhir, 4 Virat Kohli, 5 Suresh Raina, 6 Rohit Sharma, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Vinay Kumar, 10 Varun Aaron , 11 Umesh Yadav

West Indies (probable) 1 Adrian Barath, 2 Lendl Simmons, 3 Marlon Samuels, 4 Darren Bravo, 5 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 6 Kieron Pollard, 7 Andre Russell, 8 Darren Sammy (capt), 9 Ravi Rampaul, 10 Kemar Roach, 11 Sunil Narine

Stats and trivia

  • India have won their previous nine one-dayers at home. Their last defeat was against South Africa in the league phase of the World Cup.
  • West Indies are tied with Australia as the team with the most ODI wins over India in India.
  • Lendl Simmons has one hundred and seven half-centuries in 12 one-day innings in 2011.

Quotes

"Fitness-wise, we are stronger as a team. The batsmen are showing signs that they can bat for long periods. Most of all, we are showing a fighting spirit."
Darren Sammy is happy with both the spirit showed by the team, and their ability to get through five Tests in five weeks without any major fitness-related issues

"They are very good bowlers, youngsters who need to learn a lot. They are on the right track, and with coach Eric Simons they are doing a great job."
Virender Sehwag isn't too concerned about the green attack he has at his disposal

Siddarth Ravindran is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by Dravid_Pujara_Gravitas on (November 29, 2011, 18:31 GMT)

I'm sorry to say but I'm very disappointed in the Indian Fans. The kind of crowing they are resorting to is very repulsive. This talk of we will beat so and so team 5-0 is plain garbage. No respect whatsoever for the opposition. Posts filled with arrogance and overconfidence. I'm sure even the technically and mentally superlative Dravid or the great Sachin wouldn't be as overconfident as the fans who are ridiculing the Windies with their chest beating and gloating. I'm glad the Windies are bringing the Indian Fans down to earth. BTW, I'm an Indian. How about bringing a semblance of balance, respect for the oppostion sans overconfidence and humility in our posts?! What's the point in worshipping Dravid or Sachin or Kumble if we can't emulate them at least in their humility if not their game? Have we ever seen Dravid or Sachin or Kumble uttering one wrong word let alone a wrong sentence about the opposition's abilities? I can't remember any such stupidity from our icons.

Posted by   on (November 29, 2011, 14:38 GMT)

I saw yesterday that most of the commentators says India will win this series 5-0 or 4-1 something like that. If they can played in front of fast bowlers just like that so i think India will win this series 6-0! (hahahahaha)

Posted by   on (November 29, 2011, 8:58 GMT)

India needs to tighten up the bowling in order to get WI out for not more than 220...If Aaron and Umesh can do damage at the begenning then it would be easy for the spinners to come and tighten the screws....

Posted by Raaj_KR on (November 29, 2011, 8:50 GMT)

Try out Rahul Sharma. He has never been tested before being dropped for the tour Down Under.

Posted by   on (November 29, 2011, 8:45 GMT)

india will win this series 5-0 as the series is booked as was the one with england!!!

Posted by himanshu.team on (November 29, 2011, 8:45 GMT)

To Sammy: Yes your batsmen have shown they can bat for long but this is a 50 over format now. A 180-200 not out is a very poor score in 50 overs in India.

Posted by 4sindia on (November 29, 2011, 8:39 GMT)

Lets not make mistake and under estimate WI as cricket is funny game and one can't predict it. though India in the absence of great players like Tendulkar, Zaheer, Pravin & Dhoni look stronger than WI. India some how looks weaker in middle order. if Our top order fails, it will be huge pressure on the middle order and that should be interesting. WI has got the firepower to chase down any total if their top orders provide good start. not to forget Pollard, on his day, he can be very dangerous.the result should be 3-2 or 4-1 in favor of India.

Posted by   on (November 29, 2011, 8:34 GMT)

I want that good for india

Posted by addictoster on (November 29, 2011, 8:21 GMT)

well i believe in investing of my time in cricket .. India is fav .. bt still its cricket .. if WI chasing 250-260 .. becomes fav ...

Posted by KTPKannan on (November 29, 2011, 8:19 GMT)

The team India is more than enough to beat WI. However, need to change Vinay Kumar in pace action. Advance Congrats to Sehwaq.

Comments have now been closed for this article

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