West Indies v India, only Twenty20, Trinidad

Tour begins with trouble in paradise

The Preview by Sidharth Monga

June 3, 2011

Comments: 30 | Text size: A | A

Suresh Raina with India coach Duncan Fletcher and fielding coach Trevor Penney, Queen's Park Oval, Port of Spain, June 2, 2011
Future now? © Associated Press
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Match facts

Saturday, June 4, Port of Spain
Start time 1000 (1400 GMT)

Big Picture

It's déjà vu all over again. A little less than a year ago, India began their World Twenty20 campaign in the West Indies just five days after the IPL. Visibly underprepared and disrespectful of international cricket, India were doomed to not go far. Not much has changed on the Indian side of affairs in 2011. Barely six days will have passed since the end of yet another IPL when India kick off their full tour of the West Indies, again with a T20 international. And just like the last time, the hosts will be forced to play at an un-T20 hour of 10 am, sadly to make sure the television viewer in India gets his 7.30 pm start. The people of Trinidad - who might want to catch up on some T20 fun on a Saturday afternoon or evening - be damned.

It serves the broadcasters right then, that India will go through this tour without many of the stars that the Indian TV viewer is believed to never get enough of. West Indies, though, should feel slighted. Virender Sehwag knew he needed a shoulder surgery even before the IPL began. He had a choice to make: he chose the IPL over the West Indies tour. Sachin Tendulkar knew he needed time off cricket: he chose to miss the West Indies Tests but not the IPL.

How the world has changed: there was once a time when players might have wanted to miss a West Indies tour out of fear of their fast bowlers. Now West Indies will feel the duo wouldn't have made similar choices if Tests in England were pitted against the IPL. West Indies will be fuming. West Indies will be inspired. West Indies will want to teach India a lesson. How off the mark can we be? The WICB - rightly or wrongly, who's to say - is not even picking the best-possible side. Chris Gayle remains more active on Twitter than the cricket field. Jerome Taylor, who just played the IPL, is not considered for selection on fitness grounds. There is trouble in paradise, and we can only sit and watch. At 7.30pm, India Standard Time.

Form guide (most recent first)

West Indies WLLLW
India WWWLL

The spotlight

First day, first show for Duncan Fletcher comes with a young inexperienced team. India won't look too different once people start retiring after the Australia tour later this year. Fletcher knew he would have to oversee this transition at some time in his tenure. Starting Saturday the new coach gets a sneak-peak into what future holds for him even as India will be interested in seeing what the new coach holds for them.

The two captains are a fascinating study. Under Suresh Raina's previous watch, India finished third in a tri-series involving Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. He was leading a young team then; this one is not too dissimilar, which means the challenge is just as big.

Darren Sammy, on the other hand, will perhaps never play an international without having to justify his presence. Sometimes he passes in flying colours, as he did in the Test that they won against Pakistan, sometimes he doesn't; at all times he tries gamely, making you wonder what would be if some of the more talented West Indies players played with the same passion and persistence.

Team news

West Indies' squad is almost identical to the one that beat Pakistan in the T20 on April 21. The only change is that Kemar Roach has been rested. He didn't play that game anyway. If they keep the winning combination, left-arm medium-pacer Krishmar Santokie will have to wait for his international debut.

West Indies (probable) 1 Lendl Simmons, 2 Andre Fletcher (wk), 3 Darren Bravo, 4 Marlon Samuels, 5 Danza Hyatt, 6 Darren Sammy (capt), 7 Christopher Barnwell, 8 Andre Russell, 9 Ashley Nurse, 10 Devendra Bishoo, 11 Ravi Rampaul

India's squad is so different from their usual ones, they have no previous to start from. The choices begin at the top, with Shikhar Dhawan and Parthiv Patel favourites as openers. The middle order should be a bit easier to pick, but it will be interesting to see if they go with two spinners and, if they choose to do so, who that second spinner will be. There could be an aversion to playing two offspinners, which is believed to be one of the reasons why R Ashwin lost out to Piyush Chawla in the World Cup squad. Munaf Patel and Praveen Kumar will be certainties in the pace attack.

India (probable) 1 Shikhar Dhawan, 2 Parthiv Patel (wk), 3 Suresh Raina (capt), 4 Virat Kohli, 5 & 6 two out of S Badrinath, Rohit Sharma and Manoj Tiwary, 7 Yusuf Pathan, 8 Harbhajan Singh, 9 Praveen Kumar, 10 Munaf Patel, 11 R Ashwin/R Vinay Kumar/Amit Mishra/Ishant Sharma

Pitch and conditions

There was heavy rain in Trinidad on the eve of the match, drenching the outfield and bringing the covers on. Scattered thunderstorms have been forecast for the weekend and the following week. If somehow the moisture induces pace and bounce into the pitches, that will be a blessing in disguise.

Stats and trivia

  • This is the 200th T20 international. The first was played in February 2005. It took ODIs 12 years to reach No. 200. Incidentally, India and West Indies played the 200th ODI too.

  • When India beat West Indies in the 200th ODI, it was a major shock. If they do so in the 200th T20I, it won't be an upset but a minor milestone nonetheless, for India have never beaten West Indies in a T20I, losing at Lord's and Kensington Oval in their two previous clashes.

    Quotes

    "We have to continue to put in the hard work. We are a confident group of young men, and we will go into the series with the belief that we can win."
    Darren Sammy shows how mundane press conferences can sometimes be

    "The West Indies team has been playing good cricket for the past few months, and we are not going to take them lightly."
    Suresh Raina outdoes Sammy's "right areas"

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

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© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by SudhirBang on (June 4, 2011, 14:43 GMT)

WI might just throw up a suprise with many unknown names in their lineup!D'Rohit Sharmas,Shikar Dawans & Manoj Tiwaris will be tested out in unfamiliar surroundings.Indian bowling has experience but would the Indian batsmen provide enough runs on board to defend?Time would stand witness if IPL/Club affiliation affets Indian/country's services.....

Posted by   on (June 4, 2011, 13:46 GMT)

pretty excited about the match!

Posted by johnathonjosephs on (June 4, 2011, 10:41 GMT)

FINALLY we are getting more series in West Indies.... Tired of pulling all nighters to watch games at 2 AM because they are in the subcontinent/England.... what a mess... WC games start at 2 AM, England Test Matches at 3 AM, only tests in the subcontinent, and games in West Indies are reasonable for us Americans

Posted by yughy on (June 4, 2011, 10:19 GMT)

@fermissu mangalan.... I dont think u followed the series between WI and Pak... The pitches in the caribbean are no more pace friendly... they are slow and low nowadays....

Posted by   on (June 4, 2011, 8:41 GMT)

There are no fast bowlers in this team India (Except Ishanth), Munaf, Praveen and Vinay are well below 125km/h range. I wonder how these medium pacers can be survived in the fast bowling support pitches in Windies. May god help team India.

Posted by   on (June 4, 2011, 7:39 GMT)

@Ravi, the scheduling of the game at 10am is sad because unlike us Indians, the West Indians are more laid back kind of people, who want to enjoy their cricket in afternoons and evenings, rather than early mornings. It's sad because the primary concern of the organizers must be the people in the stadium and not the people in front of the TV sets in India. Imagine having no day-night ODIs in India because that suits Australian public more!

Posted by Baundele on (June 4, 2011, 6:48 GMT)

India has left their best spinner (leggie) in Rahul Sharma at home. If he were given a chance, he could have done well to cement his position in the team. Ashwin has a bright future and will take Bhajji's position in the future; but Piyush Chawla is a proven failure and Amit Mishra is inconsistent.

Posted by CricEshwar on (June 4, 2011, 6:46 GMT)

Monga's preview is extremely biased. It is not an opinion column, so have your likes/dislikes for some other page. This is how the cricket will be in the future and we have to accept it. Nobody is playing for their country, they are just representing their country through private boards mostly. So please do not get carried away with unnecessary patriotism, nationalism and most importantly cynicism.

Posted by   on (June 4, 2011, 6:09 GMT)

My selection for INDIA IX for T20 against WI : Raina(c), V.Kholi(v.c), M.tiwary, P.patel, S.badrinath, Y.pathan, R.ashwin, P.kumar, M.patel, I.sharma, A.mishra. This is Our best young Indian side. These people can win the match.

Posted by   on (June 4, 2011, 5:58 GMT)

who the hell said that many players are retiring aftr aus series..... y can't you ppl leave d senior indian cricketers alone???

Posted by   on (June 4, 2011, 5:48 GMT)

Mr. Monga, why is it sad that they are starting the game at 10 am to ensure people can watch it back home?...It is not sad, but common sense to start a game at a time when maximum people in india can watch the game.....just seems like you are giving personal likes/dislikes on here

Posted by 9ST9 on (June 4, 2011, 5:43 GMT)

actually the IPL should be a showcase of legends - ideally fading stars like Gilchrist Warne McGrath,Ganguly etc people would still queue to catch a last glimpse of them, and not the current players. What this is doing is diluting the quality of international cricket. The IPL is not to be blamed it is a great concept but 'Idealy' it should be implemented such that Intl. cricket is not harmed by it. Playing for your country does not depend on the opposition.

Posted by   on (June 4, 2011, 4:25 GMT)

I think Parthiv Patel is not good choice to open an innings. Actually they didnt give a chance for dinesh karthik or any new players as keeper. Ashwin is good player but better to give a chance for vinay kumar or ishanth

Posted by Chetan007 on (June 4, 2011, 3:16 GMT)

I think today Dhawan, Parthiv, Kohli, Manoj Tiwari, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Yusuf Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Praveen Kumar, Munaf Patel, Ishant Sharma will be given the chance to play. Seeing the recent results better to give a chance to Ishant a look in the team. As a spinner we have Harbhajan, Pathan, Rohit, Raina who can bowl if needed. But I think this squad is missing some young talents like Sourabh Tiwari, Varun Aaron and Rayudu. Don't so?

Posted by shaileshij on (June 4, 2011, 2:39 GMT)

dhawan p patel raina kholi rohit badrinath yusuf harbhajan munaf praveen ishant in this team there is 8 batsman(bhajji included) and there is 3 fast bowler suitable for WI pitch and also the Spinners like Harbhajan,yusuf,Rohit,Raina ,even kholi and dhawan can bowl 1 or 2 if needed

Posted by div09 on (June 3, 2011, 22:39 GMT)

parthiv(WK),dhawan,kohli,raina(C),rohit,badrinath,yusuf,bhaji,ashwin,praveen,munaf

Posted by   on (June 3, 2011, 21:47 GMT)

What is the big fuss...look at the unity the side brings, IPL is gone now and I believe that if the players dont care, fan shouldnt either. No player will openly say that IPL made then tierd and got out. Just wait till the series starts and we will find out automatically whether or not the chioce was right.

Posted by JeroDeep on (June 3, 2011, 21:24 GMT)

Ha ha ha... One of R Ashwin/R Vinay Kumar/Amit Mishra/Ishant Sharma. Mr Sid... Did you slept thru IPL? Ashwin should be the first choice spinner even ahead pf Bhajji at present form in T20s. Test and ODI are different ball game though...

Posted by getgopi on (June 3, 2011, 20:50 GMT)

I wonder how the running between the wickets will be for the Indian players...or will they slack off thinking the ball is gonna go over the fence?...only to find it falls well short.

Posted by Venkatinusa on (June 3, 2011, 20:37 GMT)

i doubt, the team will be able to play due to rain in forecast

Posted by borninthetimeofSRT on (June 3, 2011, 20:19 GMT)

Buddy, I personally think its great...go green, play the game in day light as much as possible. Tennis, soccer, even NFL and NBL do it.

Posted by asif2311 on (June 3, 2011, 18:30 GMT)

this is a great preview, i feelthe ipl should stop ith immidiate effect or the players in ipl should only be those who are not on internatioal contracts, its a disgrace for a country who believes its a superpoewer in cricket to not send there A means best team tothe WI. And i am an Indian a very passionate cricket follower for the past 2 decades. Thanks heaven the IPL is over.

Posted by mahabesh on (June 3, 2011, 17:56 GMT)

I am a West Indian but I know Indian will whip us in all the games. If you compare the teams player by player, India,s team is far better

Posted by   on (June 3, 2011, 17:56 GMT)

patel,badri,virat,manoj,rohit,raina,pathan,parveen,ashwin,ishant,munaf

Posted by   on (June 3, 2011, 16:39 GMT)

Manoj tiwary wont get a game, we all know rohit sharma has been ahead of him in selection for years now, he is always favoured plus he has more experience then tiwary and rohit has a great T20I record for india. Badri will definetely play the T20 and ODI's otherwise he wouldnt have been picked picked in all 3 squads, he and kohli should fit into the test XI too but whether they want raina to play at 6 in tests instead of one of those i dont know, but kohli and badri are better players then raina. limited overs parthiv and dhawan to open unless dhawan fails in a few games then i think Rohit or kohli would open. for tests looks like vijay-makund-dravid-laxman-badri-kohli-dhoni as batting line up.

Posted by xylo on (June 3, 2011, 16:37 GMT)

The only problem with this Indian team is that there is no real player who is of captain material. Badri might come closest, but he does not have credible international experience. Kohli might be the best choice of the experienced lot; Raina is more of a stop gap captain, and Harbhajan is a disaster waiting to unfold.

Posted by Lallubhai on (June 3, 2011, 16:24 GMT)

Please leave India alone , Write about your bunch of losers sri lanka.Are you writing about India because it pays better ? One rule for you & one for India .

Posted by   on (June 3, 2011, 16:21 GMT)

amit mishra should be in for bhajji so here the XI 1)Rohit Sharma 2)Parthiv Patel(w/k) 3)Virat Kohli 4) Badrinath 5)Suresh Raina capt 6) Yusuf Pathan 7) Tiwary 8) Amit Mishra 9) Praveen KUmar 10) Ravi Ashwin 10)MUnaf PAtel 11)Praveen KUmar

Mishra was great in IPL so srry bhajji

Posted by KrazyCricketKid on (June 3, 2011, 15:58 GMT)

INDIA XI: 1.Shikhar Dhawan 2.Parthiv Patel(WK) 3.Virat Kohli 4.Rohit Sharma 5.Subramaniam Badrinath 6.Suresh Raina(CAPTAIN) 7.Yusuf Pathan 8.Harbhajan Singh 9.Ravichandran Ashwin 10.Praveen Kumar 11.Munaf Patel

Posted by NCassie on (June 3, 2011, 14:47 GMT)

The probable eleven above looks ok seeing that these are the pool of players that the selectors chose to go with for the T20. Yes the injection of youth is good for the growth of the pool of players to choose from, but you can't have too much of change all at the same time. It is sad to see our experienced players in Pollard, Dwayne and Shiv are not considered. Ihope that Barnwell, Hyatt and Nurse rise the the occasion and contribute significantly, otherwise it will just be another meaningless defeat to a better prepared and balanced team India.

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