West Indies v India, 2nd ODI, Kingston June 29, 2013

Young champions start afresh against hosts


Match facts

Sunday, June 30
Start time 0930 (1430 GMT)

Big Picture

Six months ago, Indian cricket was supposed to be at its nadir. On the back of those eight successive overseas Test defeats came a shocking home Test series loss to England. Reeling in the face of doomed conquests and fallen bastions, MS Dhoni and his men managed to come up with the ultimate public relations disaster - a home one-day series defeat to Pakistan. There was nowhere to hide. Australia had arrived to play four Tests. Fortunately for India, the visitors had no clue about facing spin and had plenty of demons of their own to handle. Then came the IPL to distract everyone. And then India went to England - where their mighty had begun to fall in 2011 - and won the Champions Trophy with a squad so young and inexperienced the major justification for its selection was that planning for the 2015 World Cup had already started.

Suddenly, it is India this and India that, Dhoni this and Dhoni that. So what do the No. 1 ranked ODI side, the World Cup and Champions Trophy holders have to gain from a tri-series arranged primarily so that the other participating boards could gain from their financial clout? To appreciate that, we have to recall what Dhoni often says about young players in the squad. As a World Cup approaches, he wants them to have played around 100-150 ODIs so that they have been exposed to multiple situations and have gained enough experience to tackle them. About half of the current squad have not even played 30. Yes, they won the Champions Trophy, but taking that as anything more than a start is to forget what state the side was in just six months ago.

The opening combination is nascent. The fast bowlers, barring Ishant Sharma, are new to international cricket. India need them to gain as much exposure as possible in the next 18 months or so, provided the selectors show their faith in this set of men can last longer than a couple of series.

India's opponents, West Indies, showed against Sri Lanka in the opening game why an ODI ranking of No. 8 does them no justice, especially when they actually use some of their enormous potential. West Indies have done little more recently than to terrorise Zimbabwe and New Zealand at home. A bonus-point win over Sri Lanka was a refreshing start but, as always, the question with West Indies will be, can they reproduce that kind of performance all through this series?

Form guide

West Indies WTLWW (most recent first, last five completed matches)

In the spotlight

India's openers had a dream run in the Champions Trophy, their partnerships reading 127, 101, 58, 77 and 19. Shikhar Dhawan returns to the venue of a failed comeback to the India side in 2011, while Rohit Sharma returns to the place where he was Man of the Series in 2011. Dhawan is the man who can do no wrong at the moment, while - despite successive fifties at an unfamiliar position in the Champions Trophy - Rohit is still walking around with the familiar tag of the underachiever. Both would have developed some sort of understanding during the Champions Trophy. How will they build on it in this series?

After 57 ODIs, Darren Bravo's average is similar to Rohit's, with a strike-rate from the 1990s. The aesthetic comparisons with his great uncle will probably continue for as long as he plays, but after four years of international cricket, it is time Bravo starts to draw comparisons in the areas of consistency and impact. He has shown glimpses of that at the Test level, and a 71-ball ODI hundred against Zimbabwe earlier this year was a sign of what he is capable of in this format.

Team news

The big win against Sri Lanka should encourage West Indies to go in with the same XI. Kemar Roach was a bit of a letdown in that match, but he earned backing from his captain, who said while West Indies were glad to have someone like Tino Best in the reserves, there was no issue with Roach's performance.

West Indies (probable) 1 Chris Gayle, 2 Johnson Charles, 3 Darren Bravo, 4 Marlon Samuels, 5 Dwayne Bravo (capt), 6 Kieron Pollard, 7 Denesh Ramdin (wk), 8 Darren Sammy, 9 Sunil Narine, 10 Ravi Rampaul, 11 Kemar Roach

The conditions might have changed completely, but that does not mean India will be rushing to change the combination that won five successive games in the Champions Trophy.

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

Pitch and conditions

Angelo Mathews thought the toss was crucial on Friday, as the Sabina Park pitch eased out in the second innings. Sri Lanka had been put in on what Mathews called a two-paced surface, which had a few dark patches suggesting uneven distribution of moisture. However, there was no alarming swing or seam.

The expected rain didn't arrive on Friday though skies remained overcast for large parts of the game. There is some chance of rain again on Sunday.

Stats and trivia

  • Amit Mishra's last ODI was in June 2011 against West Indies in Kingston
  • West Indies lead India 3-2 in completed one-dayers at Sabina Park
  • Chris Gayle is only the third batsman to hit 200 sixes in ODIs. MS Dhoni is the next current player on the list, and eighth overall, with 152
  • Denesh Ramdin will be playing his 100th ODI


"That's a big advantage. It gives me, as a captain, and the team a better insight into how individual players think and how they play."
Dwayne Bravo on another positive of the IPL

"If I'm happier than the person who has actually scored a century or a fifty, you understand that's the kind of atmosphere you want, because at the end of the day, what we play is a team sport.".
MS Dhoni on the vibes in the India dressing room

Abhishek Purohit is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Alex on June 30, 2013, 16:19 GMT

    Pollard as captain, what a surprise . In the squad is Sammy, Ramdin and Gayle .

  • Dummy4 on June 30, 2013, 15:05 GMT

    Sehwag used to click once in 20 innings & Rohit at his best, clicks 5 times in 20 innings. Good job by selectors.

  • Shayal on June 30, 2013, 14:22 GMT

    Here Dhoni loss the Toss and sent to bat first, in bad conditions. Today he is not enough lucky to win toss! Watch all India haters how he gonna lead India to win! Hope this match will prove India's wins are not because just luck over the toss but performance based on strategy!

  • gurinder on June 30, 2013, 14:19 GMT

    wat a one sided series. if sl loses one match from india out of 2 then they cant reach finals as they already conceded a bonus point. so it will be india wi finals with india winning by 10 wickets or 215 runs.

  • spirit on June 30, 2013, 14:08 GMT

    @ sameer_warun..funny to see Ranatunga at no.1 and Azhar at no.7..Ranatunga has done nothing apart from that one 1996WC..whereas Azharudding has done nothing in any ICC event as well as in any tests away from home other than winning only at home series,infact azhar was so poor as a captain that india never managed to win even in Zimbabawe..same way Ponting is never a great captain,yes he's many wins as captain but thats not bcoz of his captaincy skills but only due to the awesome players his team had,we saw how good his captaincy was when he's unable to win any in the absence of warne,mcgrath,gilly and hayden..after these players retirement Ponting lead his side for 3yrs more without much success..

  • fan on June 30, 2013, 14:02 GMT

    @sameer_warun...The list you produced has retired players..Wait and watch until Dhoni gets retired..He will be the best..Though I would not deny that Ranatunga and Sourav are great captains..

  • Sarma on June 30, 2013, 13:55 GMT

    eee255: Thanks for comment. What I showed are not statistics, which are there in Cricinfo. The data is inference of relative performances. This is a computer programme that I developed after following cricket for over 40 years.

    It relatively assesses each player's performance in each match, for batting, bowling, fielding and overall. It also measures all-rounder performance. All on a scale of 0-1,000. The higher the number, the more reliable and performing is the player.

    In batting, it looks at each player's runs made, whether out or not, strike rate, strike rate of all the 22 players and rates each batsman 0-1,000 scale in that match. In bowling, it looks at each bowler in a match, balls bowled, runs conceded and wickets taken and computes the relative performances on a 0-1,000 scale. In fielding it looks at catches taken and stumpings effected by each player and determines ranking. This programme is in made in MS Excel & MS access.

  • sameera on June 30, 2013, 13:48 GMT

    @ Cpt.Meanster - caption of caption is Arjuna Ranathunga & 2 nd is Steave Waugh 3rd Mark Tealor 4th Imran Khan 5th Ponting 6th Ganguly 7th Azar ...yes 8th you can say Dhoni

  • fan on June 30, 2013, 13:21 GMT

    @STRIKETHUNDER ; I agree that Ind bowling is not good as its batting ..But their bowling is on par with other teams(though not the best)..If you say the ENG pitch is more batsmen friendly, then why other teams failed to win cup...don't they have good batsmen in their line up?? Indeed IND will have tough time in SA but that doesn't mean IND is overrated..they played the best cricket in CT and they deserved to be the winner...They collectively fair ed in all 3 depts.

  • spirit on June 30, 2013, 13:15 GMT

    @STRIKETHUNDER..many contradiction in your statement....first you said batting was easy in England,if that's the case how come most team struggled to bat in CT,also except for SA all the other team struggled to bat against india in the same pitch where indian batsman made merry(except in final)??second you said indian bowling is mediocre,well nobody's saying Indian bowling is the best but they r not mediocre by anyway,if you look at the bowling chart u will find atleast two indian bowler in the top 5 during CT,if bowling is mediocre how come WI made only 232,pak 165,SL 181 and Eng failed to chase 130??and indian team is not overrated because before the champions trophy indian team was the underdog,its by their performance in CT that many are rating them..and if indian team is mediocre then y wait for SA tour infact india should have crumbled in CT as well as they will struggle in WI..please dont show sour grapes,appreciate this young indian team

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