India in West Indies, 2011 June 3, 2011

Seniors deserved a break - Raina

ESPNcricinfo staff

Suresh Raina, who is India's captain for the limited-overs leg of the tour of West Indies, has admitted there will be huge expectations from his team despite the absence of some big names.

"[Being captain] is a great challenge to me and I'm really looking forward to that," Raina said on the team's arrival in the Caribbean. "We have good players who want to do well in this series. They have done well in first-class cricket and the IPL or in the World Cup team."

For the ODIs, India will be without regular captain MS Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar, and Zaheer Khan, who have been rested, while Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh and Virender Sehwag miss out through injury or illness. Dhoni and Zaheer are set to return for the Tests, but the other seniors are set to miss the entire series. The tour will also be Duncan Fletcher's first assignment with the Indian side.

Raina said the senior players "deserved a break" and was hopeful the youngsters in the squad would make the most of the opportunity. "We have a young team here and they are focussed on doing well for India and I am excited to see how they perform over the next few weeks."

West Indies lost their recent ODI series to Pakistan and will once again be without opener Chris Gayle, who was the top run-getter in the IPL, but has been left out for the first two ODIs. When India last played ODIs in the West Indies in 2006, they lost 1-4. The two teams subsequently met in the World Cup earlier this year when India won by 80 runs in Chennai, en route to their tournament triumph. Raina, however, said India would not be complacent. "The West Indies team has been playing good cricket for the past few months and we are not going to take them lightly," he said.

The only Twenty20 game will be played on Saturday at Port of Spain, while the five-match ODI series begins at the same venue on June 6.

Meanwhile West Indies beat the High Performance Centre (HPC) team by 11 runs in a practice Twenty20 game in Couva on Thursday. Batting first, West Indies were restricted to 145 in their 20 overs on what appeared to be a good batting pitch. Opener Lendl Simmons carried on his good form from the Pakistan series, top-scoring with a rapid 43, while Danza Hyatt made 22.

Uncapped left-arm seamer Krishmar Santokie, who has been picked in the Twenty20 squad, and Christopher Barnwell shared two wickets apiece as HPC were restricted to 134 for 6. Wicketkeeper-batsman Shane Dowrich was their mainstay with 52 off 41 balls.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • J Ranjith on June 4, 2011, 4:41 GMT

    Smithie, advantages and flaws of UDRS have been discussed in the Steen's column and if you could, please refute the flaws and then talk about what survey says and what majority says. We are all for UDRS, but for better UDRS and not for the current flawed one. That's a huge difference.

  • Dummy4 on June 3, 2011, 16:53 GMT

    India won the last ODI series played between the two in the WI, 2-1. Please get things right, Cricinfo!

  • Dummy4 on June 3, 2011, 16:18 GMT

    @farhan Dude wiki pedia is not even a valid source ,plus even it says india won that series 2-1 one match by DL method check ur stats if u have any :P

  • Dummy4 on June 3, 2011, 12:26 GMT

    India have won a ODI Series played in June 2009, India winning it win a 2-1 margin..

  • TR on June 3, 2011, 12:17 GMT

    There is marked difference between Dhoni & Raina in their body language. Raina is all exuberant, celebrating, appreciating players big, etc., whereas Dhoni is calm, confident & cool. Both body languages are good to have in the team. I am curious to see the body language of Raina (as a captain) during tense/bad match situations. I think that would be the key to making a good captain.

  • ajay on June 3, 2011, 12:02 GMT

    Raina is wrong when he says that west-indies is playing some good cricket from the past few months. But he is choosing his words very cautiously. He knows the kind of burden he is having. He must be knowing the expectations of more than one billion people from him. Raina will have to really show some magical captaincy. What he has been doing for chennai superkings will have to do the same thing for team india to make his captaincy a debut success. The task is really tough if he comes out to be a champion he could be tossed as the next captain of team india. He must keep in mind that gambhir wont be injured always and not the captaincy of team india one can get so easily.

  • Dummy4 on June 3, 2011, 11:43 GMT

    there are XI for ODI and T20 1) Rohit Sharma 2) Parthiv Patel 3) Virat Kohli 4) Suresh Raina 5) Yusuf Pathan 6) Badrinath 7) Herbhajan Singh 8) R Ashwin 9) Munaf Patel 10) Parveen Kumar 11) Ishant Sharma

  • Siddharth on June 3, 2011, 11:00 GMT

    India will surely miss Dhoni, Zaheer,,and yuvraj...though dhoni impact will be maximum felt. for sure..

  • Dummy4 on June 3, 2011, 10:39 GMT

    I like the fact how everyone in Indian team speaks one language.. !! That shows professionalism, great work ethic and a good work culture as well.. !! no wonder these boys are the best in the world.. !! Keep it goin guys.. All the best..!!

  • Dummy4 on June 3, 2011, 10:16 GMT

    INDIA LAST PLAYED AN ODI SERIES IN 2009 where the WON 2-1 correct your facts before posting such aticles dude..

    Go through this link for complete details ;)

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