India v West Indies, 4th ODI, Indore December 7, 2011

Worried India look to snuff out Windies resurgence


Match facts

Thursday, December 8
Start time 1430 (0900 GMT)

Big Picture

Darren Sammy's reactions at the end of each game on this tour have been fascinating to watch. Resignation after the hammering in the Eden Garden's Test, unabashed school-boy glee following the nerve-jangling draw in Mumbai, and agony after being denied by Umesh Yadav and Varun Aaron in Cuttack. The best of the lot came in Ahmedabad, though, when Sammy lasered down the stumps from mid-on to run out Rohit Sharma and all but confirm West Indies' first win on tour. He leapt, yelled, pumped his fists and could barely control the adrenaline rush as he charged towards his team-mates. Sammy will be determined to recreate that feeling with the series still up for grabs.

West Indies have played better cricket than the hosts in the ODI series, but that isn't saying much. Their top order has been asked to bat in all three games - a rare streak of extended generosity on the flat decks of the subcontinent - but has floundered against India's young seamers, before steadily losing momentum against spin in the middle overs. They haven't been as disadvantaged by the dew as expected in any of the matches, yet have allowed the action to drift along after making major incisions with the new ball. The catching has been poor, the captaincy worse, and on both counts Sammy has been the biggest culprit.

The visitors' lapses mean India need only one win to take the series, but concerns abound for the home side ahead of the Indore ODI. The 2-1 scoreline doesn't quite convey how much they have been stretched. West Indies had no business letting India's last pair sneak home in the opening ODI, and have toyed with the hosts' pop-gun attack in the slog overs in both games since. Bowling meltdowns in the death have become so routine that India don't panic when it happens anymore (think of the World Cup final). The bigger worry is the prolonged top order funk, and more specifically the lack of runs from Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir. They have two games to hit upon some form ahead of far sterner tests in Australia. Will they shake off the rust in Indore?

Form guide

India LWWWW (Most recent first)
West Indies WLLLW

In the spotlight

His fans have been clamouring for this day for months on end, often disregarding form, and at times even ignoring his injury status. Irfan Pathan is back in the mix, but crucially, he is in form and fitter than he has been at any stage since he last played for India. His resurgence has come the hard way, with wickets by the bunch in the Ranji season, and the banana swing that made him such a rage in 2003-4 has also shown promising signs of reappearance. Can he transfer the rhythm and skill to the white ball?

At Motera, Sunil Narine walked up to the cauldron like he belonged and performed without a fuss. The much-feared topspinner made an early appearance, but he got his wickets with an offbreak and a carom ball. If the ball stays dry in Indore, expect him to parade a few more of his unique variations.

Pitch and conditions

The Motera game featured strange crop patterns on the outfield as the groundsmen went a touch overboard with their creativity. There will, however, be no such gimmickry at the Holkar Stadium where heavy seasonal dew in the evenings has dissuaded chief curator Samandar Singh Chouhan and his team from removing any grass from the outfield. According to Mail Today, Chouhan is betting big on an anti-dew chemical that has been routinely sprayed on the outfield in the lead-up to the game. Expect India to field again if they win the toss, unless Sehwag believes batting in the afternoon will offer a better chance to regain some form.

Team news

West Indies' best batsman on the tour, Darren Bravo, is out with a hamstring injury. The replacement is most likely to be Adrian Barath, though Kieran Powell deserves a chance after batting impressively in the Tests.

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

Umesh Yadav is flying to Australia early, which means Varun Aaron has the chance to return to the XI. It will be a tricky call for Sehwag to make: Irfan Pathan and Vinay Kumar will both expect to play since they are the more experienced seamers in the ODI side. But neither is going to Australia for the Tests; Abhimanyu Mithun and Aaron, who are likely to tussle for the third seamer's spot in Indore, are.

India (possible): 1 Parthiv Patel (wk), 2 Virender Sehwag (capt), 3 Gautam Gambhir, 4 Virat Kohli, 5 Rohit Sharma, 6 Suresh Raina, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Irfan Pathan, 9 R Ashwin, 10 R Vinay Kumar, 11 Varun Aaron / Abhimanyu Mithun

Stats and trivia

  • Rohit Sharma has amassed 514 runs against West Indies in 2011 - already the highest by any batsman against them in a calendar year
  • This will be the first day-night international ever played at the Holkar Stadium. The venue has hosted two ODIs prior to this one, with India beating England in both.


    "It's difficult to say I am satisfied when you are losing. But we have shown a lot of spirit and created opportunities to win."
    Ottis Gibson, the West Indies coach, repeats something he and Sammy have said all tour

    "It feels great to be leading the Indian attack. The new ball suits me very well because I am more a swing bowler."
    Vinay Kumar is keen to continue new-ball duties

    Nitin Sundar is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on December 8, 2011, 10:08 GMT

    Good start& looks as if the Captain& his partner are compensating for their lack of form earlier in this series.THATS A VERY GOOD SIGN& signal! But the decision to bowl second & inclusion of Rahul ahead of Pathan is wise,time only can tell.! But if a big score is posted on the board,it is always a good decision.Let us await the outcome of this match as Cricket is a game of Glorious Uncentainty.Sometimes will power alone reign the game! That's what the Glorious History of the Game tells.A typical instance is the loss of WI ahead of win to lift the W/C a fourth time in 1983& in favor of Will power is the tremendous knock from Kapil Dev against Zimbabve which paved way for our entry into the final with WI. Sreedharan Mundanat

  • Jake on December 8, 2011, 9:17 GMT

    India v West Indies, 4th ODI, Indore. Yawn.

  • tapan mallik on December 8, 2011, 8:51 GMT

    Give Irfan Pathan a chance at least!!!!its going to very bad late in evening today and shewag had to face many questions if lost this match by picking rahul sharma and series is 2-2.No body is willing to listen the excuses then..All d best Shewag/srikanth..:)

  • Sunil on December 8, 2011, 8:39 GMT

    What the hell ! They have not picked up Irfan !!!.....then why did they chose him in 15 men...? He could have played Ranji Matches....

  • Dummy4 on December 8, 2011, 8:34 GMT

    preview by " Nitin sundar " , It is none other than an Indian who discourage or disrespect Indians and Indian Talents. Just explain Mr.Sundar, why this topic is titled " WORRIED INDIA" , why India needs to worry, They are the world champions in ODIs, Won the Test Series 2-0, Leading the ODI series 2-1. There is no way Indians are in worrieng state !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Dummy4 on December 8, 2011, 8:23 GMT

    well a strong west indies team is a must for cricket survival. Dis team is better than team of last decade, it has capability of become really strong team. Gayle can do no difference when he was in team then 2 they were losing badly at least now they are competing. Sammy is doing good job as captain building the team. He is a really good hitter and can bang sixes he should come when team needs to accelarate. the matter is batting order and their slow progress in first 20 overs. they shud sent some big hitting guy russell will be the best option to trash the opposition bowling in 15 overs. after that they can play the routine one day middle overs play of rotating strike. after 35 overs they should again take a blast they have some really big hitting guys samuels, pollard, sammy and the record holder rampaul

  • Nishani Lochna Madhumali on December 8, 2011, 8:15 GMT

    overrated IND will be THRASHED by Windies. IND wins matches just because of LUCK. Shewag is not a good captain. Same like SL poor captain Dilshan. Gautham Ghambhir will be a more effective captain than Shewag. Anyway Wishing All The Very Best To WINDIES..!!!!

  • Rakesh on December 8, 2011, 8:08 GMT

    Not sure I would call Aron and Yadav as pop gun Nitin. Also Mithun was no that slow. Other than Vinay all have good pace. Are u still writing for the England series?

  • Dummy4 on December 8, 2011, 8:06 GMT

    At Ahmedbad the poor performance by star-studded team India is the reason for West Indies resurgence. Our top batsmen namely Shewag, Gambhir and Suresh Raina are to perform failing; and if they clique I am sure a total of 330 is winnable. Why are our top batsmen chasing the away going delivery in a foolish manner. Let them first middle the ball and once they are confident they can opt for clearing the grounds. We won the World cup semis against Australia in Ahmedbad but unfortunately team India under Viru is giving a shaky start with quick dismissals. While from one side Parthiv Patel is middling the ball, why does the captain batting on the non-striker hold his ground. While none was available to support poor Rohith has to carry the risk. Taking the cue from M S Dhoni Viru has a long way to go and let wisdom prevail to allow team India chase or built a big score.

  • atul on December 8, 2011, 8:02 GMT

    With spate of injuries occuring to Indian pacers, it is high time that consistent and unique performers in domestic matches are given a look in the Indian squad. I am sure on this australian tour at least 3 to 4 of the pacers will get injured and we need to have reserve bowlers identified now.

    It is also inportant to expose them to international matches on a rotational basis.

    Already we are down with - Praveen, Munaf, Srisanth, while Irfan, Zaheer are coming back from injury. RP, Aravind, Dinda, Vinay, Nehra, Sangwan, Pankaj singh are only the few options available and frankly speaking they do not inspire a lot.

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